Michael Stewart is a serial social-entrepreneur who has spent the last decade transforming the culture & business of surfing towards a truly sustainable model, that will help lead the way to the low-carbon future the world desperately needs – in order to thrive and survive.
Michael has led the research and development for all of SustainableSurf’s award-winning programs, including the latest, SeaTrees – the first regenerative ocean-health focused platform created for the global surfing community, that uses the framework of the UN’s SDGs to make holistic positive impacts for both people and planet.
“I’d grown up playing in the ocean since I was a child – and had frankly taken it for granted that its beauty and its bounty would always be there for me , and everybody else, to enjoy.
But on a beautiful sunny Fall day in 2007, an oil tanker called the Cosco Busan rammed into the San Francisco Bay Bridge and spilled a massive amount of heavy bunker fuel into the SF Bay. The oil was then swept out to sea by the tide, and washed onto my local beach by the same waves that had just left me with so much joy, from having a surf that morning.
And as I stood knee deep in the shorebreak with my local community later that same day, trying to soak up the toxic oil that was washing in with every glassy wave – I realized that I had spent most of my life simply taking from the sea, instead of protecting it from the harm that we humans were creating. I’ve never forgotten that moment , and now I wake up everyday looking forward to how I can give back to the sea – for all it’s given me.”
“Don’t wait for permission to act ! Get in there, get your hands dirty, have fun where you can, and get going today. The ocean needs your help now. Period.”– Michael’s advice for those at the start of their Ocean Activism Journey