Chairman of the Board
Born and raised in San Clemente, California, Michael is a life-long surfer, a certified PADI diver, holds a USCG 100-ton masters license and spends almost every day either in the water or on the water. Many would say he the quintessential waterman.
However, this waterman desired more from his daily experience with Mother Ocean, and founded the Gray Whale Foundation in 2009. As he witnessed the decrease in coastal navigating Gray Whales each year and the increasing inability of schools to offer on-the-water educational opportunities for their students, Michael knew he had to step up and form an organization that could address both of these concerning issues.
Michael is a graduate of San Diego State University and the son of Don Hansen, founder and original operator of Dana Wharf Sport-fishing and Whale Watching in Dana Point, CA. This incredible father/son team have served on numerous boards and commissions over the past 30 years. This ongoing service to the community and multiple regulatory agencies provides Michael with a well-rounded knowledge and platform for administering the Gray Whale Foundation’s mission and purpose.