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Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) are pleased to welcome Cornwall Council as the first local authority to support the Protect Our Waves petition. Cornwall Council recently voted unanimously* to support the Protect Our Waves petition and recognised the vital work SAS has being undertaking to protect the valuable Cornish coastline over the last 23 years.

Surfing is an important part of Cornwall, culturally, socially and economically. Surfing brings in £64 million to the Cornish economy and supports 1,600 year round jobs**. Cornwall’s surf spots are often environmentally important and sensitive zones, which need to be protected appropriately to maintain water quality, combat marine litter and prevent potentially damaging activities. Surfing also brings communities together providing diverse line up where doctors, teachers, lawyers, students and tradesmen will trade waves and make lifelong friendships. Surfing established itself as a popular pastime on Cornish beaches as far back as the early 1960s. Cornwall has gone on to host world championship surfing events, regularly welcoming the world’s best surfers and attracting the international media spotlight to its unique and breath-taking coastline.

Councillor Julian German and his fellow independent councillors acknowledged how important surfing is to Cornwall and tabled the motion for Cornwall Council to support SAS’s Protect Our Waves petition.

Cornwall Council have committed to:

• Recognise the importance and value of waves as a natural resource in Cornwall and reflects this in current and future corporate policy and functions where appropriate.
• Recognise the need for increased public awareness of the value of waves as a natural resource and will work with surfing organisations to help achieve this.
• Seek to establish mechanisms for improving engagement of the surfing community in relevant decision-making.
• Explore the feasibility of establishing a Cornwall Maritime Forum to improve relevant stakeholder engagement, coordination and awareness in maritime issues and decision-making.
• Work with the surfing community to explore the feasibility of trialling a voluntary surfing reserve in Cornwall.
• Review the Council’s Beach Management Strategy to ensure that it adequately reflects the importance and needs of water users, including surfers.
• Propose the inclusion of a policy in the Cornwall Local Plan, which will require consideration of possible impacts of development proposals on natural coastal processes.

Cornwall Council will also write to Cornwall’s MPs and other relevant Ministers in support of the Protect Our Waves petition.

Surfers Against Sewage Campaigns Director, Andy Cummins says: “It’s great that Cornwall Council have become the first local authority to officially recognise the importance of surfing to the county and to develop specific policies to help Protect Our Waves in Cornwall.

Cornwall Councillor Julian German says: “I am delighted that Cornwall Council overwhelmingly supported the Protect Our Waves campaign being led by Surfers Against Sewage. Our maritime environment is fundamentally important to residents, to our health and well-being and to our economy. I wish the Protect Our Waves campaign and Surfers Against Sewage every success.

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