Punta Borinquen, Puerto Rico named 2019 World Surfing Reserve

Las Ruinas_Francisco Javier Gil
Ruins, a beautiful and iconic surf spot once in danger of hotel development is now protected as a World Surfing Reserve in 2019. Photo by: Francisco Javier Gil
Global Partner

Continuing their dedicated efforts to preserve coastlines and environments around the world, Save the Waves will protect their first coast of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in 2019.

Las Ruinas_Francisco Javier Gil
Ruins, a beautiful and iconic surf spot once in danger of hotel development is now protected as a World Surfing Reserve. Photo by: Francisco Javier Gil


World Surfing Reserves (WSR), a successful program of California-based Save The Waves Coalition, proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world in order to protect them. The program serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes of these iconic surfing areas.

Save the Waves Coalition is proud to announce that Punta Borinquen, Puerto Rico has been chosen as the next World Surfing Reserve (WSR).

Save the Waves Puerto Rico World Surfing ReserveLovely_Roberto Lebrón
Eight kilometers of Punta Borinquen’s coastline are being studied for long term conservation by a coalition between Save the Waves and the Local Stewardship Council in Puerto Rico. Photo by: Robert Lebron

Punta Borinquen wins Save the Waves recognition in Community Effort

Punta Borinquen World Surfing Reserve will consist of eight kilometers of coastline between Crash Boat and Surfers/Survival Beach. These surf breaks host multiple world-class and deeply respected waves.

“This year’s decision in favor of Punta Borinquen was almost unanimous.”

Olita, a powerful Puerto Rican non-profit working to help families break the poverty cycle, recruited and organized a team of experts in the fields of each selection criterion for the WSR. This interdisciplinary team formed the Local Stewardship Council (LSC) consisting of professors, students, local entities, NGO’s as well as local veterans of both the surf and outdoor industries. The LSC’s job was to create the most complete and profound application for the World Surfing Reserve in order to protect and preserve this Puerto Rican gem.

Save the Waves World Surfing Reserve Puerto Rico
The coastline of Punta Borinquen  is home to myriad forms of marine life that offer this preservation effort longevity. Photo by Roberto Lebron

Otto Flores, Patagonia ambassador, named as WSR ambassador for Punta Borinquen

“Every year we receive outstanding proposals that make our decision very hard,” said Nik Strong-Cvetich, Save The Waves Executive Director.

“Given the high capacity, expertise, and commitment that the Local Stewardship Council of Punto Borinquen presented in their application and given their incredible support in spite of Hurricane Maria, they still managed to unite. This year’s decision in favor of Punta Borinquen was almost unanimous.”

Governmental support came in a timely moment as the Puerto Rican House of Representatives recently recognized, celebrated and endorsed the Punta Borinquen World Surfing Reserve project.

Punta Borinquen will be dedicated as the 11th World Surfing Reserve this Spring 2019. At that time, Save The Waves will work with the Puerto Rican Local Stewardship Council on long-term conservation through outreach and planning.  Patagonia ambassador and local environmental activist Otto Flores, will become the Punta Borinquen WSR ambassador.

Save the Waves Punta Borinquen
Community ties bring about coalition to preserve Puerto Rico’s precious natural resource, the ocean.

The Punta Borinquen Surfing Reserve received endorsements and support from:
Para La Naturaleza
Surfrider Foundation, Rincón Chapter
Sierra Club Puerto Rico
Oficina Programa de Manejo de la Zona Costanera
Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Planificación
The Marine Sciences Student Association of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus
The Center for Applied Science and Ocean Engineering of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus
Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program
Surf and Nature Alliance

Save the Waves Punta Boriquen Puerto Rico
An iconic coastline much beloved by Puerto Ricans and traveling surfers alike, becomes a World Surfing Reserve in 2019. Photo by: Roberto Lebron

About Save The Waves Coalition: Founded in 2003, Save The Waves is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the coastal environment with a focus on the surf zone. For more information please visit www.savethewaves.org Facebook/Twitter: @SaveTheWaves Instagram: @savethewavescoalition

About Patagonia’s connection:

Protecting land and waterways is important to Patagonia’s mission to save our home planet. Two years ago, Patagonia announced that Punta De Lobos in Chile has been preserved forever, and have been longstanding supporters of the Save the Waves Coalition. Patagonia is proud to share that Patagonia ambassador and local environmental activist, Otto Flores, will become the Punta Borinquen WSR ambassador.

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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at editor@standupjournal.com . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.