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Serge Dedina, Ph.D


Serge Dedina, Ph.D

Executive Director

The co-founder and Executive Director of WILDCOAST, Serge received the Surf Industry's Environmental Award, San Diego Zoological Society’s Conservation Medal as well as the California Coastal Commission’s “Coastal Hero” Award in recognition of his conservation achievements. He was named a UCSD John Muir Fellow in 2013. In 2016 Serge was honored as a Peter Benchley “Hero of the Sea.”

Before Co-founding WILDCOAST, Serge was the founding director of The Nature Conservancy’s Baja California-Sea of Cortez Program where he helped to initiate successful efforts to protect Loreto Bay National Park, Espiritu Santo Island Reserve and Cabo Pulmo National Park. He grew up in Imperial Beach, California, and spent his childhood helping to preserve the Tijuana Estuary as a National Wildlife Refuge and has worked on water quality issues in the San Diego-Tijuana region since 1980. While a graduate student, Serge discovered plans by the Mitsubishi Corporation to build a 500,000-acre industrial salt facility on the shore of San Ignacio Lagoon and helped to defeat the project. Serge is an avid surfer, swimmer, and former State of California Ocean Lifeguard. He is the author of Saving the Gray Whale, a book based on the three years he lived in the gray whale lagoons of Baja California; Wild Sea: Eco-Wars and Surf Stories from the Coast of the Californias; and, Surfing the Border.

Serge received a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.