Eye on the Reef: Ocean Rafting participates in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority study, “Eye on the Reef “program. This monitoring program is the largest of its kind and relies on a strong relationship between The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), marine tourism operators such as ourselves who conduct Whitsunday tours and the reef research community. It is an ongoing exercise in collecting and documenting marine life, water temperatures and coral health, Ocean Rafting has been involved since 2007 and looks to engage visitors to contribute towards this citizen science network.
Master Reef Guides: Ocean Rafting’s Skipper and Environmental Manager, James, and Eco Host, Taylor, are both accredited Master Reef Guides. Master Reef Guides are recognised as the world’s leading reef guides, interpreters and story tellers, sharing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. These reef ambassadors provide up to date information on the reef, share stories of the magical World Heritage Area and explain what guests can do to make a difference. The Master Reef Guide program is delivered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and Tourism and Events Queensland, and is the first of its kind for the reef.
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef: We, the Citizens of the Reef, are determined to protect this unique natural wonder, but we need your support. Wherever you live in the world, get involved and make a difference: Become a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef. As a visitor to the reef/region you have already taken the first step. Together we will raise awareness and drive change to secure the future of this breathtaking ecosystem for generations to come. Build the movement by engaging your community and friends; support local conservation efforts; learn about the Great Barrier Reef and its threats; and aspire to a lifestyle where the decisions you make at home serve to secure the future of the reef and our planet. We can’t wait for someone else to sort it out. Become a Citizen today at citizensgbr.org/s/oceanrafting
Whitsundays Reef Restoration Project: Ocean Rafting has been involved in the Whitsunday Reef Restoration Project since the beginning of this project back in November 2018. Our crew have volunteered on numerous occasions throughout this project, providing regular updates to the facilitators at Reef Ecologic on the heath and status of nearly 2000 coral fragments set to be planted on the reef. For more information click HERE
Water Quality Monitoring: The 2009 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorities Outlook Report clearly identifies that one of the key drivers of coral decline on the reef is poor water quality. Now whilst the reef remains a diverse and abundant ecosystem, monitoring the resilience of the Reef has never been more important. That’s why in 2019 Ocean Rafting committed to a long-term water quality program in partnership with James Cook University, Reef Catchments and Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association. This monitoring should paint a picture of the Whitsunday catchment, allowing for appropriate management to be implemented to protect our beautiful backyard.
This project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and NQBP, with support from Reef Catchments, WCBIA, James Cook University, Mackay Whitsunday Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership and the Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association.
Marine Debris Initiatives: With marine debris becoming a growing issue in our world’s oceans, Ocean Rafting prides itself in reducing its single use plastics where possible. We offer a water station onboard as well as biodegradable cutlery with lunch. Ocean Rafting also regularly organises Beach Clean Up events. Read about when we teamed up with Parley HERE
Advanced Ecotourism Certification: Ocean Rafting has been certified for its Whitsunday tours since 1998 at the Advanced Ecotourism level, the highest level of ECO certification achievable.
Ocean Rafting has been entered into the coveted Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame for being continuously certified for 20 years or longer. There are only 14 operators Australia-wide who have been acknowledged with this achievement, with Ocean Rafting being the only one in the Whitsundays.
Green Travel Leader: Ocean Rafting is acknowledged as a Green Travel Leader through Ecotourism Australia highlighting our extensive and ongoing commitment to conservation and sustainability.
Climate Change Business: Ocean Rafting is also certified as a Climate Action Innovator dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and committing to sustainable practices related to addressing climate change.
GSTC Approved: Ocean Rafting is also Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) approved. GSTC are an independent body that establishes and manages global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices. The GSTC Approved tick means that our ECO certified products are certified under a certification program, namely Ecotourism Australia’s ECO certification, is using a Global Sustainable Tourism Council -recognised standard, is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC, and that the certification procedures largely meet international standards for transparency, impartiality, and competence.
Marine Safe Certification: In conjunction with Ecotourism Australia, WCBIA and MSQ, Ocean Rafting was one of only six Whitsunday tours who took the Marine Safe Education pilot project and are now Marine Safe Certified.