Waves for surfing are important resources for surfers and for coastal communities. They are valuable AND vulnerable. How can we manage them better?
Isn't this just Surfology, Surfingology, Surfography, or Surf Science?
Yes. But while we work to officially formalize the discipline of The Study of Surfing via the (first ever) International Association of Surfing Research, I will continue to plug away at "Coastography" since I study other things too, like coastal access and equity. Within this broader umbrella, the kind of surf science that fascinates me is wave resource management: how we understand and manage waves (for surfing) as important natural resources.
Wave Resource Management
This work examines relationships between local knowledge, sense of place, and resource stewardship—each of these has implications for sustainability—and the potential role of coastal resources users in management. These interdisciplinary components center around some of California's most iconic and important natural resources—beaches & waves—by engaging with the surfing community, whose local knowledge of these resources is unrivaled. I am collecting and recording their local ecological knowledge at science4surfing.org as well as pursuing related projects investigating the value and vulnerability of wave resources.
One of the most common questions pertains to the vulnerability of wave resources to our changing climate. One of my recent publications addresses this directly:
Reineman DR & Sadrpour N. “The impacts of climate change on surfing resources.” Shore & Beach Vol 91(1), 32-48. (view article)
One of the key contributions of this paper is a surf break vulnerability assessment tool:
My ongoing work and collaborations surrounding wave resources have resulted in additional outputs, including:
Reineman DR, Koenig K, Strong-Cvetich N, Kittinger JN. 2021. “Conservation Opportunities Arise from the Co-Occurrence of Surfing and Key Biodiversity Areas.” Frontiers in Marine Science. (view article)
Atkin EA, Reineman DR, Reiblich J, Revell DL. 2020. “Applicability of Management Guidelines for Surfing Resources in California.” Shore & Beach Vol 88(3): 53-64. (view article)
Reiblich J & Reineman DR. 2018. “Rhino Chasers and Rifles: Surfing Under the Public Trust Doctrine.” Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law Vol 34(1): 35-92. (view article)
Reineman & Ardoin. 2018. Sustainable tourism and the management of nearshore coastal places: place attachment and disruption to surf-spots. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 26: 325-340. (view article)
Reineman, Thomas, & Caldwell. 2017. Using local knowledge to project the impacts of sea level rise on wave resources in California. Ocean and Coastal Management 138: 181-191. (view article)
Reineman. 2016. The utility of surfers' wave knowledge for coastal management. Marine Policy 67: 139-147. (view article)
Reineman. 2015. The human dimensions of wave resource management. Stanford University Dissertation. (information and background)
Coasts are complex, coupled social-ecological systems; managing their diverse resources, users, and inhabitants (human and otherwise) is a challenge. Understanding the relationships between people and coastal ecosystems, including governance approaches, is an interdisciplinary challenge. As part of a collaboration with colleagues in academia and at an international, coastal conservation NGO, the Save The Waves Coalition, we drew on common pool resource theory to evaluate the effectiveness of six countries' strategies for coastal governance through the World Surfing Reserve System.
I presented our initial results at the International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John's, Newfoundland in July 2016: Reineman & Strong-Cvetich "The World Surfing Reserve system: Comparative analysis of an integrated approach to common-pool marine resource governance."
My wider interests include the human-dimensions of oceans and coasts and how they are and are not incorporated into resource management. See:
Koehn, Reineman, & Kittinger. 2013. Progress and promise in spatial human dimensions research for ecosystem-based ocean planning. Marine Policy 42: 31-38. (view article)
Kittinger et al. 2014. A practical approach for putting people in ecosystem-based ocean planning. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 448-456. (view article)