This week, SeaTrees Co-Founder Michael Stewart and Boardriders athlete Maluhia Kinimaka will be visiting and documenting our newest mangrove restoration project at Laguna San Ignacio, Baja California, Mexico. Maluhia is a Stanford grad, environmental advocate, and fantastic surfer who will help showcase the extraordinary story of this project and the women who operate it.
This is also an excellent time to talk about our SeaTrees Project Development process. You may have already seen recent cautionary tales on tree planting programs that are not well designed to be successful over the long term. We recommend reading this article from Green Biz legend, Joel Makower, for a balanced view of these issues.
From our perspective, we’ve always selected only the highest quality restoration projects, and we’d love to tell you more about how our development process ensures that all donations to SeaTrees have a permanent and beneficial impact on people and the planet.
Questions we ask before supporting any blue carbon project are the following. Is the planting partner credible? Is the project based on sound science, with a solid monitoring plan? Does it have government approval and local community buy-in? Does it produce sustainable development benefits, such as jobs, education, health care, and gender equity?
To answer these questions, SeaTrees staff personally visit our projects on an annual basis to ensure they are operating effectively. We also capture media content and stories, which helps spread the word about the fantastic projects we support and our partners that operate them.
Our mangrove planting project at Laguna San Ignacio exemplifies a “high-quality tree planting project.” It trains a local women’s group to operate the entire project, including mangrove seedling collection, planting, boat operation, and monitoring. In future years, this group will train and empower other women throughout Baja California and Mexico to do the same in their own communities.
We want to thank our SeaTrees project partner WILDCOAST, for developing this ambitious project that protects local communities from sea-level rise and climate change impacts while safeguarding a critical gray whale birthing habitat in a world-famous gray whale birthing lagoon. Simply put, we couldn’t be more stoked to support this project and all the people who operate it.
We also want to thank our SeaTrees brand partners that support this project - Gray Whale Gin and Boardriders. We’re so grateful to have them all on this adventure as they share our deep love for the ocean and join our mission of preserving critical ecosystems that help reverse climate change and protect biodiversity. Especially an ecosystem as extraordinary as a desert mangrove forest and lagoon that gray whales have chosen as their favorite birthing spot.