The Responsible Tourism Policy

At Ocean River we have a primary mission statement “to create an extraordinary experience for all those that connect with Ocean River while protecting our natural environment and providing the enjoyment of nature at its most intimate level.”

Minimizing environmental impact is hugely important to us. We care greatly for the areas through which we travel and do our best to protect the sea and landscapes, there-by helping to ensure we retain the natural character and cultural diversity for future generations.
Environmental protection, social responsibility and economic health (people, planet, and profit) describe the triple bottom line and the goal of responsible sustainable tourism that forms our success.

We believe that how we conduct ourselves has a huge impact and as such are committed to fully appreciating not only Victoria, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island but all regions we travel in. We appreciate the beautiful natural environments and strive to protect them, exchanging knowledge and perspectives with our clients, and also support a host of local organizations with like-minded principles.

Our responsible travel policy acts as a guide line to ourselves, our crew and our clients in dictating how we behave in regards to the environment, our social responsibility and our economic health.


  1. To promote, support and implement sustainable tourism through long term and day-to-day initiatives at both the administrative and operational levels of the organization.
  2. To provide guidance and education in best management practices to our employees, clients, suppliers and all other people or organizations that we work with and work with them to ensure these practices are correctly implemented.
  3. To work closely with local sustainable organizations and development programs to aid in their success in reaching their desired objectives that are in-line with our own objectives.

What is “Sustainable Tourism”?

According to the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is tourism that leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems
In order for tourism to be sustainable it must consider three aspects:

  1. Environmental – protecting and enhancing our environment
  2. Social – supporting local sustainable initiatives and organizations
  3. Economic – Applying sound administrative and financial principles, providing health & safety

Ocean River Adventures incorporates these three aspects into the operation of our company as a whole and into the day-to-day running of our tours.

Methods and Practices

“4 R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Re-think!
  • At every opportunity we use 100% recycled, post-consumer paper.
  • We purchase locally produced biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning products.
  • We recycle and compost in our office, producing very little trash
  • A huge amount of waste is generated by the purchase of water in plastic bottles. In an effort to reduce this waste, Ocean River offers reusable water bottles
  • Our 4 stroke gasoline engine on our Discovery Shuttle craft is quiet & does not burn any oil (all used engine oil is recycled.)
  • The Discovery Shuttle craft travels at low speeds both to conserve fuel consumption and allowing our passengers to relax and enjoy the tour to where we will begin our kayaking.
  • We always leave the areas we paddle in, campsites, walking paths or lunch stops the way we found it if not cleaner!
  • When on day or overnight tours we ask that passengers carry a small plastic bag for waste. Recyclables will be recycled and trash will be disposed of in the appropriate manner when we return from the tour.
  • On overnight tours campfires will always be kept small and easily controllable and we ensure they are completely out before leaving.
  • We work with other businesses who offer sustainable responsible programs- it’s all about re-thinking how we do business
  • We support local educational programs by inspiring the next generation of ocean ambassadors.
  • We try to make our passengers aware of specific environmental concerns affecting the areas through which we travel and what they can do to minimise impact. Recognizing the problem is the first step to becoming aware how we can work to better it.

This included being “whale wise” and understanding about our Gulf Island National Park Reserve, Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park to mention just a few

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Getting Around Victoria:

  • Welcome to the Greenest Transportation City in Canada
  • Why not rent a Hybrid or Flex-fuel car, rent a scooter, rent a bike, walk or take a bus while around town
  • Walk – The David Foster Harbour Pathway – more than 5 kilometers in length, once complete, the David Foster Way will be one of the longest, named pedestrian and cycling harbour pathways in North America connecting Ogden Point Cruise ship terminal to Rock Bay. Located in the heart of Victoria, the waterfront pathway showcases special places such as Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, Legislative Buildings, Royal BC Museum, Fairmont Empress, and Ship Point. The pathway will eventually include Barclay Point, and north through the new Johnson Street Bridge which is currently in development. David Foster Walkway Preview
  • Pedi Cabs are available from downtown hotels
  • BC Transit System
  • Victoria Harbour Ferry operates very small and diesel efficient water taxis that allow you see the harbour from a different perspective.

Offset your Carbon Emissions

Offsetting means paying someone to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere on your behalf. This is done by planting trees, reducing energy, and finding renewable energy sources. Carbon Fund offsets your CO2 by funding projects around the world. For more information visit the website.

Together we can make a difference!