Like many - we’ve been glued to our screens watching the 2020 US election process continue unabated. It’s inspired us to encourage our community (aka you) to stay engaged and vote for the ocean with your time, attention and especially kindness – because it’s everything.
We’ve also been inspired to dive deeper into our programs, explore new coastal ecosystem projects to support, and research the latest in carbon and climate science - keeping sane by catching a few waves and talking story with like-minded souls.
In one of these conversations, we were asked about the origin story of SeaTrees by our co-collaborators at Protect Blue. It gave us pause. We realized that we’d never really shared it.
It was 2018 and we were in Santa Cruz, CA at the 5th Global Wave Conference. The place was buzzing with collaborators and colleagues from around the world. We were excited to be there presenting a new social science study that Kevin had created in collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography & University of Plymouth, showing that climate change was the #1 concern for ocean lovers around the world.
After a long day of talks and a quick surf at the point right in front of the conference, our team huddled over cold beers in a noisy corner of the 'surf-themed' hotel bar to compare notes and swap gossip. We came to a sobering consensus: the ideas being presented were interesting, cool even; but they mostly sounded out of tune with the urgency of the existential threat that climate change poses, for all life on our ocean planet.
And frankly—our ideas did, too.
Michael realized it was finally time for us to talk about the big idea the team had been steadily working on for years, and that had been a core belief since the beginning of the organization: that the ocean has the "superpower" to heal itself and even reverse climate change, if we just give it the push it needs to get started.
“the ocean has the ‘superpower’ to heal itself and even reverse climate change, if we just give it the push it needs to get started”
The next morning, we trashed our planned presentation for the conference and started again from scratch. The team (Michael, Kevin & Brett—that’s me) took shifts working on it all day around the kitchen table—arguing for or against critical components, refining the concept, and building not just a new presentation, but a new program. We worked deep into the night, fueled on by passion, stoke and coffee, until we knew we had something worth talking about—a great solution that was scalable, involved direct action and was available to anyone with access to the internet.
On the last day of the conference, Michael stepped on stage to present Sustainable Surf's biggest idea yet: SeaTrees—a simple platform that enables anyone to Plant + Protect coastal ecosystems, to turn the tide on climate change, while creating a more just (aka kinder), liveable planet for everybody.
Want to make your own story a little kinder?
And while we’re talking ‘origin stories,’ this recent story by Bank of The West takes us back to 2011 and the formation of Sustainable Surf. Here's a little teaser:
"So, in 2011, they started Sustainable Surf based on the theory that if the universal ‘cool factor’ of surf culture could become synonymous with environmental advocacy, the impact would be widespread. The goal was to give people easy, accessible ways to change their lifestyles so they could become climate positive or, in this case, ocean positive."
Want to know why we’ve partnered with Bank of The West? We believe that they’re an agent of change. Just like us, the bank is channeling their efforts toward creating a ‘common good’ - (aka kindness). Read more from Bank of The West’s Head of Impact Solutions, Julie Davitz.
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Michael + Kevin + Brett +++