"Santa Cruz Surfers Make Coastline A Reserve"

"You may think of surfers as slackers. But in Santa Cruz, Calif., they're city council members and business owners. And they're also conservationists — who just got their piece of the central California coast named a World Surfing Reserve."

"Long before surf music topped the charts and long before surfers had crazy nicknames, surfers have been riding the waves in Santa Cruz.

On a recent day, the crowd included 'Wingnut' — also known as Robert Weaver — and other surfers. He pointed out some friends: 'There's Frosty, there's Boots, there's Fathead.'

Weaver calls Santa Cruz 'the first place that the Hawaiians brought surf back in the 1800s.'

As the story goes, it was 1885, and three Hawaiian princes were attending a nearby military school. Homesick, they fashioned boards out of redwood and went surfing.

That long surfing history, plus the quality of Santa Cruz's 23 surf spots, are the reason surfers, businesses and local government teamed up to get the area's near seven-mile stretch of coast named a World Surfing Reserve. Weaver is a Reserve ambassador."

Krista Almanzan reports for NPR's Morning Edition May 14, 2012.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012