Responsible tourism: Kayaking with Orcas in British Columbia, Canada
Northern Vancouver island has a rich history in aboriginal culture as well as homesteaders. but today it remains relatively unpopulated except for tourists. We aim to leave places better than we find them. We further this in our commitment to sustainability in our tours by strictly adhering to LEAVE NO TRACE camping policies. We pack in and pack out all of any garbage, carefully separating compostable material from other garbage. Guests are encouraged to limit their own impact in packing for the tours, including taking precautions like using biodegradable soap and covering up with clothing instead of using sunscreen in these water-focused activities. Garbage found on shore (ie plastics that end up in the ocean) is always removed.
Kayaking is a minimal-impact activity, and we are certified carbon-neutral in our operations through our carbon-offsetting program to address the use of van transport, and propane for cooking (most meals are cooked with a dutch oven). Since the main other attractions of the tour are hiking and tidepooling, this tour is almost entirely human-powered. This not only gives a more intimate experience with the land, but it doesn't harm the sea creatures we treasure.
Wildlife is such an important part of this tour that we include natural history information and lectures for our guests to better learn about how to preserve and understand this ecoscape. Our guides are natural history buffs, fully versed in conservation of their chosen species and the entire rain coast. We also support local environmental groups and wildlife conservation efforts, including orca and salmon initiatives.
Our entire guiding and support staff are native Canadians, many of whom call Vancouver Island home. Their pride in their homeland and enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge adds a priceless element to the tour. We pay competitive wages and many of our guides return year after year, as we foster a sense of pride and community among our staff.
We utilize locally owned hotels and transport services, and patronize local restaurants, to keep operating costs benefiting the economies in which we operate. After almost 20 years of operation and living in this area, we value the relationships with our local vendors and look forward to sending our guests to their caring services. We know the best people to recommend for any need, and have enjoyed years of happy guests and happy vendors.
We are also working to increase our ties with the First Nations presence in the area. All of our camp sites are legally permitted through the appropriate First Nations band, and we meet with the Chief each year.