Whether from rising sea levels or frequent intense storms, many surfing resorts around the world have felt the impacts of climate change. Now they have a blueprint for how to become part of the solution.

Jess Ponting of San Diego State University is co-founder of a program called “Stoke Certified,” which provides an easy and systematic way for resorts to improve their practices.

Ponting: “We are very committed to educating the surfer market and having them understand the need for sustainability.”

He says many resort owners are surfers themselves, who may not know where to start, but his program walks them through it.

Ponting: “It’s fairly comprehensive. It takes a long time to go through and it really touches every aspect of the operations of a resort, from how power is reduced to how our boats come and go from coral reefs, and where food’s being sourced from.”

During the certification process, Hawaii’s Turtle Bay Resort on the island of Oahu installed 1,500 solar panels, replaced incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescents, and preserved 660 acres of land from development.

As more resorts make similar improvements, their combined efforts can help keep the surfing world from wiping out.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Jason Jackson.
Photo source: Stoke Certified website

More Resources
Stoke Certified website
Turtle Bay Resort: Green Practices
Surf Wire Weekly Roundup (March 26, 2015)

Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...