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?

Don't just go "carbon neutral" - purchase SeaTrees Tokens to "wipe out" your climate impact and leave an ocean-positive impact by planting and protecting coastal ecosystems.

Add one SeaTrees Token to your cart for each ton of CO2 to be "wiped out".

Each Token is comprised of the following mix:

1 metric ton of CO2 sequestered through VCS/CCBA certified carbon credits sourced from the Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project, Cambodia. Protects 97,000 hectares of old-growth rainforest and the largest contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the Gulf of Thailand.Protects endangered species including the highly-intelligent Irrawaddy dolphin, and Malaysian Sun BearsProvides 200+ jobs, education, and healthcare benefits for 16,000+ people in the local community

4 mangrove trees planted on Biak Island, Indonesia, with our planting partner Eden Projects.  This has the potential to sequester an additional 1.2 metric tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the trees (25 years).Provides sustainable employment for two villages on Biak Island, IndonesiaHelps protect Biak Island from storm-surges and sea-level riseCreates critical habitat for threatened speciesSequesters carbon in one of the most efficient ways possible. In fact, mangrove forests are 5x more effective at storing carbon than tropical forests.

1 square-foot of kelp forest restored at Palos Verdes, California, with our restoration partner The Bay FoundationProvides employment for local urchin fishermanRestores critical coastal habitat in Southern CaliforniaProtects endangered species like abaloneKelp is now seen as a major contributor to carbon sequestration

Provides general support to all other projects on the SeaTrees platform.

REDD+ = Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation

VCS = Verified Carbon Standard Program

CCBA = The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance

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.