In the south of les Landes in the community of Castets, the town hall is preparing to sell a 10 hectare plot of natural land to allow the company Wavelandes to build a giant surf park, 20 km from the ocean and natural waves .
When a publication of a press article on 22 July 2021 stated that the Wavelandes company wished to build a surf park, a group of local associations quickly joined to work to inform and mobilise their communities against this threat. This resulted in a first press release that was published on the 4th of October in the local and national press, and a petition was put online.
The aim is to quickly create a awareness on the harmful aspects of this project, so that the investors necessary for its realisation will hesitate to commit.
The coalition for this campaign includes: Surfrider Landes chapter, Amis de la Terre 40, Attac Landes Côte Sud, Collectif des Associations de Défense de l’Environnement du Pays Basque et du sud des Landes (CADE), Collectif Landes Urgence Climat et Environnement, Collectif des Surfeurs du Born, Collectif des Surfeurs Landais, France Nature Environnement Nouvelle-Aquitaine (FNE NA), Landes Environnement Attitude (LEA), Sepanso Aquitaine, Surfrider Foundation Europe, Surfrider Gironde, Surfrider Côte Basque, Synapse Crew Europe, Urgence Climat Landes.
To expose their arguments, the collective has put online a Facebook page which gives 24 reasons (economic, ecological or related to surf) to say NO TO THE CASTETS SURFPARK. A way to say loud and clear: “you want to build a wave pool for us, but we don’t want it!”.
The coalition expects extremely high water and energy consumption . For example, the estimated consumption of public drinking water is equivalent to more than 120 Olympic-sized swimming pools over 11 months/year.
The construction of the surf park will destroy several hectares of forest and its biodiversity
The classification of the surfing pool as a nautical activity and not as an artificial bathing area, without any monitoring by the Landes Regional Health Agency, would pose significant health questions to surfers.
This Castets project is the only artificial wave pool project not yet abandoned in France, following the abandoning – for reasons of ecology, economic profitability and pressure from civil society – of the other projects (the 3 previous projects in les Landes, as well as those of Sevran in the Paris region, Saint-Père-en-Retz in Brittany, Lacanau and Saint Jean-de-Luz).
Furthermore, a surfpark consumes energy to create waves. 1.6 kWh for a small wave (1.2 m for 10 s), three times as much for a 1.5 m wave of 15 s and the figures continue to increase exponentially for larger waves. Knowing that a French household of four people (two adults and two children) consumes 13.7 kWh per day, each surfer uses the electricity of three families per day for a one-hour session on medium-sized waves. This does not include the energy needed for the shops, offices, hotel and water filtration system, which doubles the daily requirement.
In the current context of the climate emergency we do not see any relevance for this project.
Our goal is to prevent the construction of a surf park which will destroy a field and a forest in Castets.