SeaTrees FAQ

photo: Octavio Aburto

This page explains common questions on the sustainability-related benefits of SeaTrees.  For questions on products and orders, please Contact Us directly.

What is SeaTrees?

SeaTrees is an 'ocean-positive' project of non-profit, Sustainable Surf.  

The mission of SeaTrees is to provide financial support to “regenerative” projects that protect and restore critical ocean ecosystems, such as:

- Mangrove forests

- Kelp forests

- Coral reefs

- Seagrass

- Ridge to Reef watershed conservation

SeaTrees directs funding to these projects through brand partnerships and through direct sales of artist-collaborative products.

All SeaTrees projects are evaluated through the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They produce multiple benefits to ocean health, climate change, biodiversity, jobs, education, human health, gender equity, and many more.

SeaTrees is the platform that connects people and brands that are ready to act –   with the communities, social entrepreneurs and scientists that are working to protect and restore critical ocean ecosystems.

Who operates SeaTrees?

SeaTrees is operated as a program of Sustainable Surf, a 501c3 non-profit based in California.  All revenue, expenses, and employees are part of Sustainable Surf’s normal operations as a non-profit.

We work with Artists Partners who provide their artwork for limited edition products, that help fund the projects.

We work with Project Development Partners who develop projects around the world to protect and restore coastal ecosystems.  The SeaTrees team identifies these projects and evaluates them for quality and effectiveness.

How is SeaTrees funded?

SeaTrees receives funding from charitable grants and donations, as a traditional non-profit program of Sustainable Surf.

SeaTrees also is funded by the ocean community through sales of on-mission products. These products provide education about protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems.

The sale of products directly funds the conservation work and provides a tangible symbol of support for protecting and restoring critical coastal ecosystems.

Where does the revenue go?

As a program of Sustainable Surf, all revenue and expenses of SeaTrees will be reported on the public 2019 tax returns of Sustainable Surf.

Revenue generated through the sale of products on or goes toward:

1. Project partners 

2. Program expenses

3. Building an internal “Blue Carbon Ecosystem” fund , which will allow us to provide critical support to a fast growing community of innovative projects around the world that protect and restore coastal ecosystems.

When will my purchase support the projects?

SeaTrees has existing contracts with Project Development Partners to operate their regenerative projects.

We provide financial support on an ongoing quarterly basis to our chosen projects, to fulfill the commitments made by purchases of SeaTrees products.

The exact timing of when a mangrove tree is planted, or kelp forest restored varies depending on the project.

For example, mangrove planting on Biak Island (Indonesia), occurs year-round, while kelp reforestation off Palos Verdes (California), occurs during the calm summer months.  The Southern Cardamom Forest is protected year-round from deforestation, as a REDD+ project.

Please contact us if you want more specific details. 

How is the impact of SeaTrees measured?

We believe SeaTrees has the potential to scale to create ocean positive impact around the world. 

SeaTrees measures the benefits of projects through the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are defined in 17 major categories of sustainable development, with targets and indicators.  It’s the best comprehensive description of the global challenges we face today, and of the targets and indicators of success needed to solve these problems by 2030.

Each project supported by SeaTrees will have a description of the UN SDG benefits produced.

Key SDG goals that we look for in a SeaTrees project include:

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 15: Life On Land

Goal 1: No Poverty 

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Goal 6: Clean Water

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Collectively, these projects:

- Reduce climate change impacts

- Increase biodiversity on land and in the sea

- Protect endangered species on land and ocean

- Create sustainable jobs

- Alleviate poverty and hunger

- Support education and gender equality

- And more...

What is a SeaTrees Token?

 One SeaTree Token represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide “wiped out” on behalf of an individual or brand, who has calculated their carbon footprint through the SeaTrees platform.

A SeaTree Token will be comprised of the following mix:

- 0.5 metric tons of CO2 sequestered through VCS certified carbon credits sourced from the Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project, Cambodia.

- Seven mangrove trees planted on Biak Island, Indonesia, that is estimated to sequester 2 metric tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the trees (25 years). This project is not currently creating certified carbon credits, but has other established reporting and monitoring systems in place, including annual site visits by SeaTrees staff.

- One sq-ft of kelp forest restored at Palos Verdes. Kelp forests sequester carbon permanently in the deep ocean, and are one of the most important blue carbon ecosystems.

In addition to the carbon sequestered, SeaTree Tokens support development of the SeaTrees platform and other regenerative projects with many SDG benefits, such as kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reef regeneration. These projects need support because they do not fit traditional carbon market accounting, and/or are too expensive to fund on carbon benefit alone. 

What is Blue Carbon?

Blue Carbon is carbon that is stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. Blue Carbon can be much more effective at storing carbon per unit area than any ecosystem on land.  These ecosystems also provide essential habitat for plants and animals and can support sustainable jobs. Blue carbon ecosystems generally are biodiversity hotspots.

The best examples of blue carbon ecosystems are mangrove forests, kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs.  Additionally, SeaTrees defines the Ridge-to-Reef ecosystem as blue carbon, because the health of a terrestrial watershed connected to the ocean directly affects the health of the adjacent coastal ocean.