From mass bleaching events devastating the coral ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef to January temperatures in Sydney that spurred record-breaking warm waters, Australia’s ocean is ground zero for the effects of climate change.
But there’s reason for hope.
Ambitious ideas from young Gen Z entrepreneurs in Australia are getting a boost from the Generation Impact Incubator from HP and nonprofit Ocean Impact Organization (OIO). Their winning plans will help tackle one of the greatest challenges of this moment, starting with restoring the continent’s some 22,000 miles of coastline and protecting marine life.
“We belong to this planet, and with the power given to us through intelligence it’s important that we take care of our environment,” says Emile Theau, cofounder of Sine Surf, avid surfer with an engineering and nanotechnology degree, and winner of the top prize. “A green and biologically plentiful planet is a bright future and one that we should all work towards.”
Theau started his company after looking into the materials used in surfboards, especially ones marketed as “wooden.” Most are in fact, made primarily of polyurethane foam and fiberglass, with thin wood veneer, and coated with epoxy — all materials that are harmful to ocean health.