Project Manager for Marine Ecosystem Restoration

  • PO Box 3058, Manhattan Beach, CA, United States
  • Employees can work remotely
  • Full-time

Company Description

Sustainable Surf is a 501c3 non-profit based in California. Our mission is to be the catalyst that protects ocean health. We believe the ocean is the hero of reversing climate change and its superpower is carbon sequestration. To help enable this superpower, our SeaTrees program protects and restores blue carbon ecosystems, such as kelp forests, mangrove forests, coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and coastal watersheds. These are the most impactful ecosystems on the planet for carbon sequestration and are biodiversity hotspots. 

Sustainable Surf has a strong focus on sustainability and regenerative action campaigns. Our organization blends non-profit activism with an entrepreneurial business mindset, to create a highly innovative culture that engages individuals and businesses to take action to reverse climate change.

Job Description

We are looking for someone to help manage and scale our flagship program, SeaTrees, which protects and restores coastal ecosystems around the world, such as kelp forests, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and coastal watersheds. We have planted over two million “SeaTrees” in ten active projects around the world to date, with a goal of developing 100 “coastal ecosystems restoration and blue carbon” projects by 2030. We work with scientists and policy experts to drive innovation and action in the “blue carbon” space.

Sustainable Surf is looking for a Project Manager to take charge of the active SeaTrees projects, and take the lead on developing new projects. This will require a combination of skills in project management, ocean conservation science, international and sustainable development, and carbon market and climate change policy. 

SeaTrees develops two classes of coastal ecosystem projects. Most of our projects are fast and nimble, designed to rapidly build capacity and drive innovation.  These projects focus on ecosystem regeneration and do not create certified carbon offsets, although there is a carbon benefit as well as many other SDG benefits for the local communities and ecosystems. This also allows SeaTrees to restore coral reefs and other ecosystems that would not be funded by carbon finance. These projects are funded by corporate and individual donors, and SeaTrees project partners run the gamut from community-based NGOs to academic universities. 80% of this position's focus will prioritize working with our existing and new restoration project partners that fall under this category.  

SeaTrees also develops certified “blue carbon” offset projects in several ways. We purchase carbon offsets from existing projects that have a blue carbon connection, and retire these offsets on behalf of donors. We are also developing new “blue carbon” projects in mangrove forest ecosystems that started as SeaTrees planting projects. Finally, we are developing the science and methodology of kelp forest carbon sequestration with the goal of creating the first wild kelp forest carbon offset project. 20% of this position’s focus will be spent working to ready our organization and develop projects that will achieve offset verification. 

Job Responsibilities:

  • Manage existing SeaTrees portfolio of projects

    • Be primary point of contact with all SeaTrees project partners

    • Ensure projects are achieving ecosystem restoration goals

    • Manage collection of evaluation data and sustainable development metrics

    • Manage collection of media content from projects

  • Develop new SeaTrees projects in partnership with Sustainable Surf staff

    • Identify potential SeaTrees projects and align on project goals

    • Perform due diligence on potential projects

    • Manage legal contracts with new projects

  • Assist in the development of certified “blue carbon” offset projects

    • Help develop feasibility studies and project plans for mangrove carbon offset projects

    • Help manage scientific research and policy development for kelp forest carbon sequestration

  • Coordinate with other members of the Sustainable Surf team

    • Ensure business development staff have accurate information and media content

    • Ensure communications staff have up-to-date media content, progress reports and impact metrics

    • Ensure finance staff have accurate inventory of SeaTrees planted by projects and help facilitate project partner payments 

  • Develop strategy tools, planning tools, tracking tools, and systems as needed, with the goal of achieving our 100 SeaTrees project target by 2030


Core Qualifications

  • Minimum of three years of professional experience working on coastal ecosystem conservation and restoration, and international or sustainable development

  • Bachelor's degree in environmental studies, marine biology, oceanography, geology, international development, or a related field. Master’s or PhD degree preferred, or equivalent experience

  • Significant understanding of ocean conservation policy and science

  • Significant understanding of climate change science and carbon markets, including blue carbon

  • Significant understanding of international and sustainable development

  • Experience conducting impact evaluation and data collection from conservation projects

  • Ability to communicate clearly with project developers, media, public audiences, scientific community,  and policy makers

  • Ability to travel internationally and thrive in difficult and complex field conditions

  • Knowledge of filmmaking, photography, and media capture in ocean ecosystem projects

Additional Qualifications

  • Ability to work flexible hours (including some weekends and evenings), as needed, within the full-time weekly schedule

  • Ability to work effectively from a home office and in a remote team setting

  • Skilled in GIS, Google Office Suite, Salesforce, Slack, and SaaS tools

  • Ability to work independently to design and implement solutions to problems

  • Ability to set priorities, manage a multitude of details simultaneously in a fast-paced environment, and meet deadlines and commitments

  • Welcome other points of view and ideas, recognizing and embracing different and contrary perspectives with kindness, curiosity, and encouragement

  • Makes conscious efforts to promote cooperative practices, behaviors, and ways of working across many groups as well as external project partners

  • Excellent written and spoken communications skills

  • Strong research and analytical skills

  • Committed to building and strengthening a culture of inclusion within the team

Additional Information


  • Job Type: Full-time, salaried

  • Compensation : $70,000-$80,000

  • Benefits: medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, 401k

  • Work Location: California / San Francisco Bay Area

  • Blend of office and work from home

  • This position anticipates domestic and international travel


Sustainable Surf provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training. All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.