WORDS + PHOTOS
BY DAVID PU'U
In contemporary surf culture, our world gets leaned into quite frequently with well-meaning yet ill-informed voices, directing us as surfers and a water tribe as to what is good and accurate care for our beaches and waters.
Unfortunately, these voices are quite frequently under-informed when compared to some of even the youngest members of our community.
The reason for this is a lack of understanding of both the definition of the term “baseline” and inaccurate application of information gleaned from baseline study with regard to our ocean home. This can create a wide variety of problems for municipalities and the state.
Loosely defined, baseline refers to the historic condition of a particular asset. It would be the starting point from which to draw conclusions. For us, one of the oldest historic baseline barometers on the coast is the point break.
The reason for this is that many of these points are ancient and have a water outfall (stream or river) as part of their morphological structure.
So if you really want to learn about the effects of various aspects of nature, and man-made impacts on the ocean, study the pointbreaks. Hidden in plain sight will be a complete living record of all land based changes, traceable back hundreds and in some cases, as in Pitas Point pictured here, thousands of years. It really is enlightening to do so, and helps us better understand what matters and what does not, in being good stewards of our resources.