At Ocean Light Adventures we’re life-long environmentalists with a love for our BC coastal wilderness and with an enduring passion to help protect it. Our current program of adventure tours has been shaped by our desire to be part of the effort to preserve our beautiful coast. As individuals – and as a company – we embraced the concept of “being green” long before it became fashionable. Our philosophy of being green has been, and is being, expressed on several levels; we’ve participated in several major environmental battles, we’ve helped produce many strong and influential environmental advocates by exposing them to the region on our tours, and we provide direct support for key regional environmental organizations. On top of all this, we are continually vigilant to take all the correct small steps to make sure our day-to-day business operations are as consistent with environmental practices as possible.
The Major Environmental Battles
Ocean Light Adventures and her crew were instrumental in the fight to save the South Moresby Wilderness of the Queen Charlotte Islands. We worked very closely with Western Canada Wilderness Committee, The Islands Protection Society and the Haida Nation. We organized fundraising efforts, sold calendars, organized petitions and gathered thousands of signatures to help get protection for the area.
In 1987 we were asked to donate our boat and services in the Khutzeymateen Valley when clearcut logging was threatening to destroy it. We worked closely with bear biologist Wayne McCrory of the Valhalla Society and brought the media and influential environmentalists into the valley to see the grizzlies in their ancestral home.
When the vast Great Bear Rainforest became threatened we teamed up again with the Valhalla Society and brought environmentalists, researchers and the media into the region to expose it to the world. It was at the dinner table on the Ocean Light that the initial boundaries for the proposed Spirit Bear Conservancy were drawn. The Spirit Bear has now become one of the icons for the whole Great Bear Rainforest. The Great Bear Rainforest has become a global issue because within it lies some of the world’s last temperate rainforests. More recently, all eyes are on the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest as LNG companies are setting up and looking to use tankers to move their product off our coast. The tankers would travel through some prime humpback and fin whale territory.
The Production of Environmental Advocates
Our commercial venture of providing intensely rewarding and eye-opening eco-adventures has functionally become a breeding ground for environmental advocates! Many of our clients and staff have gone on to produce books, photographs and films which have spread the word about the beauty and fragility of the natural wonders of BC’s coast. In addition, many have gone on to contribute their time to support key environmental initiatives and conservation groups, including assisting in key fund-raising efforts to purchase (and close down!) bear-hunting outfitting tenures previously owned by hunting guides. Each year we receive rewarding emails and letters from our clients thanking us for exposing them to this globally-unique ecological treasure and telling us how they’ve become involved in the fight to preserve it!
Directly Supporting Regional Environmental Organizations
There are several hard-working environmental organizations that are making important strides in conserving the BC Coast. As time marches forward we continue to develop new relationships and our conservation focus changes to meet new environmental challenges.
In the early years we worked closely with the Valhalla Society and supported their primary goal of saving habitat for the grizzly and the Spirit Bear. We have also supported the Raincoast Conservation Foundation (www.raincoast.org) and Pacific Wild Alliance (www.pacificwild.org), who over the years have been instrumental in exposing the multiple threats on the Great Bear Rainforest, including clearcut logging, fish farm expansion, wild salmon depletion, grizzly trophy hunting, and more. Their conservation efforts and approach parallel what we believe in. We financially support both Raincoast and Pacific Wild annually for very simple reasons: We want to see an end to the Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt and we want to see wild salmon in our rivers and streams. We also want to see our coast Tanker Free because ultimately we want the Great Bear Rainforest and the rest of our coast to remain wild for the bears, wolves, whales and other wildlife.
The Day-to-Day Little Things
As a company we make every effort to leave as little negative impact on the natural world as possible. We continually try to reduce our carbon footprint and make as many little steps as possible toward saving our planet.
In the galley of the Ocean Light we use a great number of organic foods in our meal preparations. We catch and serve sustainably-harvested seafood and fish for many of our meals. We use only biodegradable soaps, cleaners and detergents.
On the marketing front, we have made the decision to forego print advertising and have focused exclusively on word-of-mouth and web-based marketing, including producing and using only electronic brochures. While this self-imposed restriction may penalize us economically, we feel the cost is worth it. Our latest initiative is movement toward a paperless workflow in our daily business practices.
We even have an exercise bike on board which generates extra battery power (or at least Jenn’s battery power!!)!
And, of course, we reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.
When it comes down to it, we want nothing more than to preserve the glistening streams full of salmon that flow past the lush green vegetation and the towering old growth trees, leaving the ecosystem intact for the wild animals that call it home.