Funding will support long-term research and community stewardship in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Victoria, BC — Oct. 24, 2017 — Local expedition cruise company Maple Leaf Adventures is committing a 10-year, $100,000 donation to Raincoast Conservation Foundation, starting today. It’s an example of how tourism business and conservation can work hand-in-hand on the British Columbia coast.
The commitment will provide funding certainty to research and stewardship projects in the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the areas that Maple Leaf Adventures operates its trips. The money will help pay wages of a local indigenous field crew member and a scientist, initially, on a multi-year grizzly bear research project in the region.
“It’s very important to do long-term research, yet these projects are often cut by governments,” said Kevin Smith, Maple Leaf Adventures’ CEO. “The coast is our home, and we are committed to operating our ecotourism business here in the long term, so we are really pleased to support valuable conservation work into the future, too.”
Conservation and ecotourism have a symbiotic relationship when done right. In addition to benefitting from the protected areas and healthy wildlife populations that conservation safeguards, Maple Leaf Adventures’ guests are able to visit with stewards and researchers on the trips, getting first-hand insight into discoveries, and also into the First Nations communities whose territory the projects are in. Guests and operators love and protect the coast, donating back to the stewards who look after it.
“We are extremely grateful for the extraordinary commitment and support of Maple Leaf Adventures. This action has shown why Maple Leaf Adventures is a visionary company and an industry leader,” said Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Smith hopes it’s the beginning of something greater. The company plans to set up a related fund for guests who want to help match Maple Leaf Adventures’ contribution each year.
“We and our colleagues in the industry fully support the work Raincoast does and the way they do it,” said Smith. “Each year, more of our guests are discovering the wonders of the BC coast. I expect that many companies will start committing long-term as our industry matures. It’s in our DNA as responsible operators.”
For more information about the project and the benefits between ecotourism and conservation, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com.