Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bluewater Goes Carbon Neutral!

Bluewater Adventures is now officially

After calculating our carbon footprint this spring as part of EcoTrust and the Pembina Institutes Canada's Carbon Smart process, Bluewater Adventures has now become Carbon Neutral! In September, We purchased carbon off-sets for a year of operations from 'Offsetters'. Offsetters are a local, Canadian company chosen by the 2008 Eco-Tourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference as their top choice for the purchase of offsets. They invest their funds in local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. As Bluewater specializes in nature tours in the Pacific Northwest we wanted to invest in local projects making a difference here. See: http://www.offsetters.ca/

We are the first small-ship operator along the BC Coast who is Carbon Neutral. Bluewater will continue to be a pioneer in sustainable tourism practices and encourages other ecotour operators to do the same. See our Eco-Actions for more details.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Low salmon returns hurting BC’s nature based tourism!

A Recent Press Release from the BC Wilderness Tourism Association

The Dept of Fisheries & Oceans numbers are in: Pink salmon returns to the Broughton Archipelago and Knight Inlet (east of Port Hardy and Port McNeill) are at record lows - worse than the collapse of pink stocks in 2002, when the fish farms were forced to fallow (temporarily close).

The salmon situation is starting to wreak havoc on nature based tourism located in the area. The decrease in pink salmon will have repercussions up and down the food chain whether on land or at sea.

Howard Pattinson, owner of Tide Rip Tours, a grizzly bear viewing business based out of Telegraph Cove, has observed grizzly bears unable to find salmon an important source of protein and trying to prepare for hibernation feeding only on berries and grass. “Many females will not find enough to eat and will abort their fertilized embryos. Adult males have also been known to eat young cubs when starving; and cubs that can’t find food this fall won’t make it through the winter” said Pattinson.

Donna and Bill Mackay, owners of Mackay Whale Watching out of Port McNeill, have been on the forefront of salmon and orca habitat protection for many years. They have observed that orcas are not socializing as much between pods due to their preoccupation with searching for food. Mr. Mackay noted, “This year only 41% of the total northern resident population of orcas have made an appearance in the Queen Charlotte and Johnstone Straits down from almost 100% which is from our 30 year data set.”

Dean Wyatt, owner of Knight Inlet Lodge located in Glendale Cove, is concerned that whole coastal valleys are losing wildlife due to the lack of salmon. “If the wildlife go, then so does the $1.4 billion nature based tourism industry” said Wyatt.

The Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA) is calling upon the fish farm industry and government to take action now in order to save the 2009 outrun. They are seeking immediate commitments to move farms off key salmon migratory routes and the investment in attainable closed containment technologies.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tour Ninstints...

Watch our 360 panorma view of Ninstints - UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On a quiet May morning, some Bluewater guests enjoyed learning about the history of the site from Jordan, the Haida Watchmen. A highlight of this adventure - see old totems that still remain here on Anthony Island, but for how long we don't know... Click here for more info on our Queen Charlotte Islands Adventure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kermode Sightings in the Great Bear Rainforest!

September is a great time to be in the Great Bear Rainforest, not only for the usually co-operative weather, but the wildlife is plentiful! Grizzly and black bears are frequently seen feeding on the salmon in the rivers and estuaries, so there is great bear viewing. Orcas and Humpback whales are usually spotted at this time of year as well.

It is a wonderful time to spot the all-white Kermode bear, which a couple of our trips have already done this September. With the help of local guides our guests are having fantastic opportunities to see the Spirit Bear! This is definitely a rare experience on the British Columbia coastline. Book now for 2009 and take advantage of early booking discounts!