SOUTH SWELL AND A RECORD TURNOUT FOR THE 12TH ANNUAL WILDCOAST DEMPSEY HOLDER OCEAN FESTIVAL AND SURF CONTEST

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By Eddie Trujillo

Imperial Beach, November 7. With a super fun 2-3’ south swell running and more than 170 contestants, the 12th Annual WILDCOAST Dempsey Holder Ocean Festival and Surf Contest on Saturday, November 7, was a huge success. “The morning conditions were perfect,” said contest director Zach Plopper of WILDCOAST. “With a record turnout cheering them on, competing surfers loved the rippable peaks and especially the lined up hollow lefts that reeled off the Imperial Beach pier all morning.”

Surfers from throughout San Diego County and Baja California battled it out all day in the highly competitive event. First place winners included Mariana Valencia (Menehune Girls 11 under), Tiare Thompson (Junior Women 12-17), Sydney Zoehrer (Women 18+), Charlie Liange (Menehune Boys 11 under), Peter Stewart (Boys 12-14), Shane Berchtold (Junior Men 15-17), Jay Christenson (Men 18+), Sean Fowler (Masters), Larry Kraus (Grandmasters), Jeff Knox (Kahuna), Shane Berchtold (Kneeboard), Terry Gillard (Longboard), and Anthony Zambrano (Bodyboard).

This year for the first time, the Dempsey was part of the binational Baja Bound Surf Series to tie together the sport of surfing across the Californias. “We were stoked to sponsor such a competitive surf series in Baja and San Diego County,” said Geoff Hill of Baja Bound Insurance. “It’s a perfect venue to highlight how surfing benefits our economies on both sides of the border and brings together surfers from both countries in friendship and competition.” The series will end with a third event, the Baja Surf Club Invitational at San Miguel in Ensenada, Mexico, on January 16 and 17. The top ten men and women in the leader standings after the Dempsey and the Walter Caloca will be invited to compete. Stay tuned for details.

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Conservation through Beautification in South San Diego

Evaporation Ponds, Lagoons, wetlands, San Diego, California

WILDCOAST attended a fantastic panel put on by C3 this morning and discovered that San Diego is a budding “tactical urbanism” hot spot.  What does this mean?  Roughly tactical urbanism encompasses temporary, urban projects to make streets more open, lively and enjoyable.  Often these projects aim to influence long-term change.  Just look at all the projects going on in East Village and the parklets in North Park, increasing walkability and open space for San Diego residents.  How can we fit this into coastal conservation?  Can we consider conservation or improvement of green space in urban areas ‘tactical conservation’?

WILDCOAST has a long history working in the Otay River Watershed and the South San Diego Bay, both of which are important coastal ecosystems existing in a fragile balance between urbanization and conservation.  The Otay Valley Regional Park, the western part of the watershed, was historically used for dumping and mining and is now a restored urban river parkway with trails for biking, while the salt ponds of South San Diego Bay are slowly being restored into beautiful wetlands.

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