Are Artificial Wave Pools Sustainable?

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Ever since Kelly Slater first unveiled his man-made tube machine in Lemoore to the spellbound public back in 2015, wave pools have seemingly popped up all over the map. What were once thought of as chlorinated novelties are now the center of a fast-expanding wave pool industry. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find surf parks in Waco, Lemoore, Palm Springs, Melbourne, Bristol, and more. With dozens of others in various stages of planning and construction, artificial waves will likely only become more prevalent in surfing in the years to come.

But in an era where climate change is fueling arctic wildfires, Atlantic superstorms and global sea-level rise, any surfer who still values natural aquatic playgrounds should be asking about the environmental impacts of these surf parks. While it may be a simple question, the answer is, of course, very…

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