Harbor Construction

by Josh Berry
Surf 2010

Protect Your Break, Australia: Breakwater Construction
Could Bury Bastion Point

Bastion Point is a remote surf spot on the rugged coast of Victoria. During intense winter storms, rights are sheltered from southerly winds allowing thick Southern Ocean swells with clean lines to wrap inside and spin down the point. The area has a long history of surfing and tourism, and is surrounded by Croajingolong National Park, making it a unique wilderness surf experience. Developers have proposed a breakwater, an access road on the beach and a parking lot for boat access here, threatening to block the swell from reaching this special spot.

Most surfers have witnessed a destructive boat infrastructure project: jetties and breakwaters are constant threats to surf and natural beaches everywhere. But governments and communities are waking up to the fact that natural coastlines and the sport of surfing bring great economic and environmental value. Surfing as a tourism activity often defines entire coastal economies, and natural waves, points and reefs offer nature’s protection from flooding and erosion.

The Save Bastion Point Campaign has coordinated the fierce opposition that has arisen to the Bastion Point development. Local group Friends of Mallacoota, a key member of the Campaign, has filed suit in the Supreme Court of Victoria against the Minister of Planning to block the project and force environment-friendly solutions. Save The Waves has harnessed its Australian and international network to publicize the cause and support the opposition.

About the Author

Josh Berry is a surfer activist from Northern California who recently returned from seven years of environmental work on the front lines in Chile, where he took on the coal and pulp industries and produced three award-winning documentary surf films about environmental issues. He is the environmental director at Save The Waves Coalition – an environmental organization dedicated to preserving the world’s surf spots and their surrounding environments. You can join them at savethewaves.org.