For most, the term deforestation inevitably conjures images of large swaths of the Amazon either cut or burned down to make space for farmers and ranchers, displacing the rainforest’s natural inhabitants in the process. Few think, at first blush anyway, of the ongoing destruction of offshore kelp forests and other forms of underwater flora occurring as a direct result of climate change and warming seas.
But, a new project initiated by the good folks at Sustainable Surf – the same non-profit that created the surfboard certification program known as the ECOBOARD Project – hopes to put surfers on the front lines of efforts to combat ocean deforestation and habitat loss.
SeaTrees is the first program of its kind built specifically to galvanize the global surf community to help fund regeneration projects from mangrove forests in Indonesia to kelp forests in California. “It’s designed to help reverse climate change by sequestering CO2 in the most threatened ecosystems on the planet – while also catalyzing a chain-reaction of “positive” local benefits that improve water quality, biodiversity of plants and animals, (as well as) protection from storms (and creating) economic opportunities for local communities,” Sustainable Surf’s site reads.