The ceremonial title was given to Malibu, the first of many to be officially recognized.
Save The Waves Coalition, based out of Davenport and spearheaded by Ocean Beach locals Dean LaTourette and Josh Berry, sent the crew down to educate, celebrate and fundraise.
San Francisco and Santa Cruz surfers joined the So Cal fun, leaving chilly central coast waters behind for a few days of ‘trunking it’ in warmer temps.
The day began with a traditional Chumash ceremony hosted by Chief Mati Waya at sunrise. The warm day began with burning sage and a native blessing of land that once belonged solely to the Chumash people.
Waya wore traditional native dress and as the vibrant sun rose, folks were led in a ceremonial procession that led to a raucous paddle out and a celebratory circle in the sea.
The afternoon speakers included local surfing legend and Malibu mayor, Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner, National Surfing Reserves program founder Brad Farmer, Dean LaTourrette of STW, various speakers of non-profits such as Santa Monica Baykeeper and Malibu resident surfers.
And then, although the waves measured somewhere around six inches, many grabbed a longboard and flocked to the baby waves for some afternoon playtime.
A startling sight was the number of dead sea urchins washed up on the beach. Some speculated that it was the recent breakthrough of the Malibu lagoon to the sea, after the early rain.
Although the ocean appeared to be clean enough, many stayed on land, afraid of getting sick.
Overall the event was a landmark in the fight for surf break preservation as the local community, and many from afar, came out at sunrise on the weekend to voice their support for the WSR program.
They’ve got their eyes set on many different global surf breaks like Waikiki Beach and J-Bay.
Where do you think should become the next World Surfing Reserve??
See CNN’s iReport video here!