Conservation is at the heart of all of our operations. Every tour we run contributes to our conservation in a number of ways.
Commercial Bear Viewing Association
On each of our Bear Viewing Tour we collect a $15 Bear License fee. This program run by the Commercial Bear Viewing Association donates the proceeds to conservation projects. In 2019 the operators participating raised $114 000. This went to the Grizzly Bear Foundation, and the Nanwakolas Council for their work in supporting salmon enhancement and work on the Bear ID project.
The funds that went to the Grizzly Bear Foundation supported the following projects:
- Expand our work with government in the design of the upcoming Grizzly Bear Management Plan.
- Host a First Nations Forum on Bear Conservation and the Economic Opportunity of Bear Viewing Ecotourism in partnership with the Commercial Bear Viewing Association and Indigenous Tourism BC.
- Supporting research that examines the impact of climate change on grizzly bears.
- Expand our Grizzly education unit and adapting it for Indigenous language programs.
For every passenger who joins us on a tour, you will notice a conservation fee on your total ticket price. This fee is put into our Conservation fund, which directly supports conservation and Stewardship, community support, and education programs. Part of that fee goes towards the following organizations:
North Island Marine Stewardship Association (NIMMSA)
From donations like this, along with those of every member company NIMMSA has awarded a total $116,115.50 among 19 different projects over the past 5 years. These projects include:
- Salmon Coast Field Station Society for “Collaborative kelp forest monitoring to support effective kelp conservation and restoration in the Broughton Archipelago”
- Marine Education and Research Society for “BC Boaters and Marine Mammals – safe, responsible and legal vessel operation”
- Orca Lab for “Monitoring Orcas at the Strider Rubbing Beach”
And much more! Full details on all of these projects can be found on the NIMMSA website.
Marine Education and Research Society (MERS)
We support MERS each year through sightings data and humpback ID photos.
The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to promoting conservation and understanding of marine ecosystems through scientific research, environmental education, and marine wildlife response. We incorporated in 2010 and are based on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia in the Territory of the Kwakwala-speaking Peoples.
This small group continues to accomplish a remarkable amount year after year. Some highlights from 2022 include:
- Direct outreach via “Dock Talk” marina visits; visitors to our office in Port McNeill; and presence at community events.
- Placing additional “See a Blow, Go Slow” signs. There are now over 400 coast-wide!
- Conducting presentations for yacht clubs and boating organizations.
- Selling Whale Warning Flags, a useful tool for boaters to alert others to the presence of whales and the need for increased vigilance and needing to slow down.
- Developing resources to increase awareness of how ocean noise impacts marine mammals.
- Starting development of a new, online course on safe boating around whales which will expand on our See a Blow, Go Slow resources.
We support the Marine Education and Research Society through sightings data, and humpback ID photos throughout the season. In 2021 we hosted a MERS trip which “…”
Everyone of our Captains and Naturalists have taken the Marine Education and Research Society Marine Naturalist Course.
Other Conservation Efforts
We have been partners with Wilderness International since 2018 when we first became Carbon Neutral. Each year we go through the extensive process of calculating our total carbon foot print, and offset what we cannot reduce! Wilderness International helps us do this.
From 2018 – 2022 those offsets directly protected Old Growth Forest within the Toba River Valley. We protected 1 m2 per customer, protecting a total of 41,878m2 over those 5 years. Our sister company Wildcoast Adventures protected an additional 6783 m2 in 2022 when they started working with Wilderness International!
In 2023 we will be protecting remote wilderness on islands on British Columbia’s central coast. We can’t wait to see the impact we can make this season and beyond!
The Wilderness Tourism Association supports projects that focus on the sustainable management of BC’s wild spaces and the sustainable development of BC’s tourism industry. Some recent projects the WTA has been involved in:
- Historical Coastal Clean up with the small ship Tour Operators Association of BC
- #Bellyup Campaign to Save Wild Pacific Salmon
- Destination British Columbia’s Co-op Marketing Program
- The Advenure Tourism Coalition
- Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Coalition
- #ExploreWildBC pledge
We are proud to be members of the Wilderness Tourism Association!