Best of 2018: To save marine habitats, conservationists find natural ally: surfers

A surfer rides a wave in Fiji. (© Reniw-Imagery)

Editor’s note: As the end of 2018 approaches, Human Nature is revisiting some of our favorite stories of the year. To support crucial conservation work like this, consider making a donation to Conservation International.

When looking for conservation allies, it’s only natural to appeal to the people whose hobbies center on nature.

Whom better, then, to turn to for marine conservation than the world’s 34 million recreational surfers?

That’s what Conservation International did, teaming up with Save the Waves Coalition this year. Using a method called “Surfonomics,” the two organizations sought to measure the economic value of surfing — including the price that visiting surfers are willing to pay to protect surf breaks — and communicate that to local decision-makers.

Read more about this project here.

Olivia DeSmit is a staff writer for Conservation International.

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