Being “green” means being sustainable, and the sport of surfing is widely considered green in general. Unlike boating, which can put pollutants in the water, or fishing, which can create imbalances in marine ecosystems, surfing, when performed conscientiously, puts nothing harmful in the water and takes nothing out. It sustains the environment it operates within.
Surfing on the beaches of southwest Costa Rica can be considered especially green given that it sustains an environment richer than most.
The Amazing Natural Environment of Costa Rica
The waters near Uvita, Costa Rica are home to the largest coral reef on the Pacific coast of Central America. There are mangrove swamps here teeming with wildlife. Iguanas and hawksbill turtles frequent the beaches. The area is a mating ground for humpback whales. Frigate birds, ibises and pelicans soar overhead. The area is a virtual paradise.
Of all the sports performed in and around Uvita, surfing has probably the lowest impact on the environment. Unlike scuba diving and snorkeling, surfers seldom impinge directly on delicate ecosystems. Wildlife is left to go about its business. Even excursion boats motoring passively along watching wildlife have a greater potential impact on the environment than surfing.
Green Surfing in Costa Rica
Surfing, when performed in a protected natural environment like Ballena National Park adjacent to Uvita, is even more green than surfing on a nearby public beach. That’s because park rangers monitor activity within the park to insure a safe and sustainable environment. You will see little in the way of refuse or other human impact when you surf Ballena National Park.
Surfing in Costa Rica can be green in another way too. Sustainability often extends beyond wildlife to local people and cultures. When you do business with a native Costa Rican you help to sustain local businesses and the economy, buttressing their traditional way of life.
Uvita Surf Camp is a locally owned surf school in Uvita, Costa Rica. It is run by Tito, a native of the area. He and his staff conduct classes on Colonia Beach within Ballena National Park. They are diligent about keeping the environment clean and undisturbed. It is their home.
Surfing is green. This is true in general. But surfing in Costa Rica can be even greener. If you are looking for a sustainable green sport, surfing in Costa Rica may just be the greenest of the green.