The World Surfing Reserves announced that the dedication ceremony for the Ericeira, Portugal, World Surfing Reserve is to be held on October 14, 2011. The ceremony will officially establish the Ericeira coastline as a World Surfing Reserve, the second iconic surfing location to be so enshrined (following Malibu, California), and Europe’s first.

The Ericeira area of Portugal is a treasure for Portuguese and international surfers alike. The approved Ericeira surf zone consists of 4 km (2.5 miles) of coastline, which contains a highly concentrated group of seven quality surf breaks, several of them considered “world-class,” including the popular Ribeira d’Ilhas.The dedication ceremony will honor Ericeira’s unique surf history, culture, and environment.

“The Ericeira surf zone embodies the full range of attributes that World Surfing Reserves seeks to preserve and enshrine, including excellent surf, beautiful natural setting, and a rich local surf culture,” says Drew Kampion, WSR Executive Committee Member and veteran surf writer and editor.

World Surfing Reserves is also pleased to announce the formation of Ericeira’s Local Stewardship Council, which will be spearheaded by Jorge Cardoso and will include Miguel Dray, Luis Reis, Miguel Fortes, Álvaro Botelho, José Gregório, and Nick Urichio. The members of the Local Stewardship Council have been selected for the intimate knowledge of Ericeira’s surfing coastline and their desire to protect it for future generations. This group will carry out planning and activities to better conserve the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve. Salvem O Surf (S.O.S.), a Portuguese environmental nonprofit focused on national surf spot protection, will provide technical assistance to the Local Stewardship Council and is currently helping to develop a stewardship plan to guide conservation efforts.

“The Local Stewardship Council will serve as the operational arm to identify threats to the Ericeira Reserve and to bring people together to find solutions, with a particular focus on the protection of waves,” says Jorge Cardoso, long-time surfer of the Ericeira area who will be spearheading the Ericeira Local Stewardship Council. “The members of the Council are honored to accept this task and are committed to ensure that future generations will enjoy what nature offered us—very good waves in a beautiful surrounding.”

Renowned Portuguese pro-surfers Tiago Pires and Joana Rocha will serve as World Surfing Reserve Ambassadors for the Ericeira Reserve. Tiago was the first Portuguese surfer to qualify for the elite ASP World Tour and has had a highly successful career, including four WQS victories. Joana, too, grew up surfing the Ericeria coast, was the 2x Junior National Champion, and has traveled the world extensively in pursuit of waves.

The exact location and schedule of the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve Dedication Ceremony will be announced in the coming months. Santa Cruz, California, and Manly Beach, Australia, have also been approved and will be the next locations to be enshrined as World Surfing Reserves.

“Portugal now joins other surfing nations in protecting tomorrow’s priceless assets today – the waves of Surfing Reserves are swelling worldwide—they’re unstoppable,” says Brad Farmer, the founder of National Surfing Reserves in Australia and a WSR Executive Committee Member.

Photo: Carl Steindler