Innovative Biodiesel Project Press Release

Center for Surf Research
5555 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92182
(619) 594-8499


Project Designs to be Available Online for Free

Contact: Carl Kish at

SAN DIEGO, CA – The Center for Surf Research’s Certification Program Coordinator and San Diego State University alumnus, Carl Kish, aims to contribute towards sustainable living practices in small surf tourism communities with the “Innovative Biodiesel Project.” Carl has partnered with biodiesel expert Ryan King to create the world’s first small-scale biodiesel production plant that is closed-loop (zero waste), energy independent (off-grid), and has a net carbon-negative impact. Carl created a campaign for the project on IndieGogo, a crowdfunding website, to finance the research, testing and construction of the biodiesel system in the surf community of Nosara, Costa Rica: Once the model is developed and tested, the blueprints and instructions for production will be released online for free to amplify the potential global reach of this inexpensive, locally appropriate, sustainable energy solution.

Dr. Jess Ponting, Director of San Diego State University’s Center for Surf Research is excited about the project’s potential to change the way small surf resorts and surf communities produce energy. “This project has the potential to change everything,” said Ponting. “All around the world, remote communities and surf resorts rely on polluting diesel-powered generators for energy. What Carl and Ryan are working on could provide a carbon NEGATIVE alternative that actually removes waste from the environment. Best of all, they plan on giving the technology away for free once they have developed it! This is just one of those immensely cool projects that people should support. It could be a game changer.”

Safari Surf School, Costa Rica’s premier surf school and camp in Nosara, is hosting the system at their headquarters — the Hotel Casa Tucan. Ryan and Carl will travel to Costa Rica on February 12th for three weeks to build the system and train staff, as well as members of the community, on proper operation. Casa Tucan was benchmarked by the CSR in May 2012, and hopes to be a Sustainable Surf Tourism Certified resort this June. Having a fuel source that is independent from imported resources and power could potentially be a lifesaver during times when access to Nosara is limited, such as during seasonal floods or natural disasters. Nosara’s situation resembles that of most small surf tourism communities around the world, some more extreme than others, where access to basic resources like electricity are limited.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Ryan on such a momentous project,” said Carl. “He has over a decade of experience and exhibits ample confidence and passion in his work.”  They raised 80% of their $5,000 fundraising goal in the first three weeks of the campaign, and they have one more week to acquire the rest of the funds. If you want to learn more about the project and its distinct features, please visit They envision this project as a catalyst for advancements in sustainable living and hope that it will inspire communities and biodiesel producers around the world to implement, experiment, and improve upon this model.

Ryan explains, “I am grateful to Carl, Safari Surf School and the Casa Tucan for expressing interest and support in local, carbon negative energy production. Typical ethanol and biodiesel production remain at around 3% of global transport fuels. Large, commercial-scale biofuel production has proven too costly, in both environmental and economic aspects, to compete with fossil fuels. By exploring scalable local solutions and sharing our results and methods, we may be able to develop models of biofuel production with benefits to local communities and ecosystems.”

The project aligns with the community’s aspirations to distinguish Nosara as a sustainable model for development for other communities in Costa Rica. Both the Nosara Civic Association, a nonprofit organization that has been preserving the natural environment through planned and controlled growth for 36 years, along with Nosara Sostenible, a committee of like-minded business and property owners, fully support the initiative. This project’s positive implications will resonate for the future of Nosara, not only because of its potential to create job opportunities, but also because energy is at a premium in the community.

This is all part of Safari Surf’s new sustainability campaign — Sustainable Swell. “We are fortunate to be working with such passionate individuals that care about our community and the greater good,” said Tim Marsh, CEO of Safari Surf. “Carl and Ryan have shown immense initiative in pursuing this project and have remained headstrong despite several setbacks that jeopardized the project’s viability and we completely trust them to get the job done.” Carl will also be preparing the Hotel Casa Tucan for Sustainable Surf Tourism Certification by the Center for Surf Research and Sustainable Tourism Certification by the Costa Rican Tourism Board in June of this year. Safari Surf launched an entirely new website that contains a whole section detailing the company’s sustainability initiatives:

About Safari Surf School
Founded by brothers Tim and Tyler Marsh in 1999, Safari Surf School is an official Billabong Camp and is Costa Rica’s premier surf school. In addition to surf lessons from ISA certified instructors, Safari offers complete vacation packages including a range of accommodations, dining, transportation and numerous other activities such as fishing, zip-lining, nature tours, yoga, massage, horseback riding and more. The school is located at Playa Guiones near Nosara on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Business and administrative operations are based in San Diego, CA, U.S.A. The company owns and operates a variety of travel businesses including recreation, hospitality, food and beverage, and retail. Specific businesses include Safari Surf School, Safari Surf Adventures, Safari Surf Vacations, Women’s Surf Adventures, and the Hotel Casa Tucan. For more information about Safari Surf School, go to,,

About Center for Surf Research
The Center for Surf Research is a non-profit research and teaching center housed in SDSU’s Sustainable Tourism Program under the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The CSR provides leadership in the struggle for sustainability in surf tourism by: shaping responsible global citizens through life-changing experiential learning opportunities for students and the wider community; creating and disseminating specialist knowledge to governments, the surf industry, tourism developers, destination communities, nonprofits, and tourists; and by inspiring and driving active stakeholder engagement with the social and economic development of destination communities, sustainable use of their resources, and conservation of their critical environments. The CSR is directed by Dr. Jess Ponting, an Australian surfer and researcher who has the world’s first PhD on sustainable surf tourism management. For more information about the Center for Surf Research, go to,,


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