State of the Beach/State Reports/PR/Surfing Areas

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Puerto Rico Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access84
Water Quality32
Beach Erosion6-
Erosion Response-4
Beach Fill1-
Shoreline Structures2 2
Beach Ecology3-
Surfing Areas55
Website4-


Inventory and Perception of Status

Tourist road maps list over 100 major surf areas along the North Coast of Puerto Rico. Information about offshore reef spots beyond Caballos is closely held.

This map (click on 'Muestreo de Playa') shows monitored beaches in Puerto Rico, not all of which are surfing areas. Also see Surfer Magazine, the February 2007 issue, pages 62-63 for a general map of the main island and its surf spots.

Water quality is a major concern at urban San Juan surf spots and near sewage outfalls around the island, including the Loiza River, Aviones, Tocones, and from San Juan to Arecibo. Coastal development projects have been proposed at numerous locations in the coastal zone in Puerto Rico, threatening the immediate destruction of the Wilderness, Tres Palmas, and Crash Boats surfing spots. One project alone, named "La Selva" threatens to impact more than a dozen surf areas along the 15-mile northeast corner of Puerto Rico. Construction of deep-water port facilities will shut down the mystery reef spots along the over 20 miles of the southwest corner of the island. Sand loss and coastal erosion are major concerns on nearly every sandy beach. Coral reef destruction, combined with watershed disruption, siltation, water quality, sewage, and forecast sea level elevation rise all threaten Puerto Rico's surfing environment.[1]

Fifty years of bombing practice by the U.S. Navy resulted in miles of beaches on the small island of Vieques' being off limits to everybody except protesters. Although the Navy recently announced that it would no longer use Vieques for bombing practice, a new hotel due scheduled to open in February 2003 worries Juan Fernandez, commissioner of Vieques, because "it's not ecotourism, it's expensive tourism." Vieques is a nesting ground for sea turtles and is home to a bioluminescent bay that is considered to be among the wold's most spectacular.

Recognition by State

Puerto Rico does not recognize surfing as an economic, cultural, and recreational resource.

Surfrider Foundation Chapters

 LocationWebsite
Rincon Chapter18° 20' 25.0008", -67° 15' 6.0012"http://rincon.surfrider.org/


Rincon Chapter Rincon Chapter Website

Latest Posts on the Rincon Chapter Blog:



Check out the Rincon Chapter blog at http://rinconsurfrider.blogspot.com/

You can contact the Rincon Chapter via email at chair@rincon.surfrider.org

Other Organizations

Other organizations working to preserve coastal and marine resources in Puerto Rico are Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program and the United States Coral Reef Task Force.

Information Sources

The summary of surfing areas comes from Surfer Magazine's The Surf Report issues for the state. Surfrider Foundation's Rincon, Puerto Rico chapter was surveyed to establish surfing conditions.

Other sources of information on surfing in Puerto Rico include:


Footnotes

  1. Daniel Whiting, Puerto Rico Surfrider Chapter, written correspondence. April 2, 2001.



State of the Beach Report: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Home Beach Description Beach Access Water Quality Beach Erosion Erosion Response Beach Fill Shoreline Structures Beach Ecology Surfing Areas Website
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