Going Green & Giving Back
Major Marine Tours is committed to giving back to our community and promoting environmental responsibility in Alaska. Many of us call Alaska home and we are dedicated to supporting the communities that help support us. We are committed to protecting Alaska’s wildlife and landscapes so we can continue sharing Alaska’s grandeur and beauty with our guests. The owner of Major Marine Tours, Tom Tougas, was given the 2016 Business Energy Efficiency Leader of the Year Award from the Seward Alternative Energy Group for his continued commitment to implementing energy efficient and environmentally responsible practices at Major Marine Tours. In 2018, Major Marine Tours was awarded the Alaska Ocean Leadership Stewardship and Sustainability Award by the Alaska SeaLife Center, recognizing our commitment to the sustainability of ocean resources.
Commitment to Environmental Responsibility
Our Vessels: All of our vessels comply with current Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard regulations regarding emissions, and several of our vessels have been outfitted with environmentally-friendly engines and other innovations to further reduce emissions and save fuel. The Star of the Northwest, Spirit of Adventure, and our new vessel the Kenai Fjords 360 are equipped with EPA Tier III fuel-efficient and low emissions engines, and the Viewfinder is equipped with an EPA Tier II fuel-efficient and low emissions engine. The Glacier Express has a platinum injection system to further reduce emissions. We will continue to invest in technology to reduce fuel usage, emissions, noise, and wake.
We use environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions, Coast Guard-approved sewage treatment systems, and eco-friendly vessel bottom coatings. We recycle when possible and promote recycling on our cruises. We are currently working on ways to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastics on our vessels.
Marine Research and Wildlife Rehabilitation: Major Marine Tours partners with the Alaska SeaLife Center to promote marine research and wildlife rehabilitation in Alaska. Our guests are invited to donate to the Alaska SeaLife Center at the time of reservation to raise funds for the Wildlife Response Program, which responds to and rehabilitates wildlife that has been abandoned, stranded, or injured throughout Alaska. Additionally, all of the proceeds from our boarding photos are donated to the Alaska SeaLife Center and we conduct other fundraisers throughout the year to benefit the SeaLife Center. Additionally, we have helped the Alaska SeaLife Center release rehabilitated wildlife into Kenai Fjords National Park from our vessels.
Whale SENSE: Major Marine Tours is a proud participant of Whale SENSE, a voluntary education and recognition program sponsored by NOAA Fisheries and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Whale SENSE recognizes whale watching companies that are committed to responsible whale watching practices. Major Marine Tours has committed to the following Whale SENSE guidelines:
- Stick to the regional whale watching guidelines.
- Educate naturalists, captains, and passengers to have SENSE while watching whales.
- Notify appropriate networks of whales in distress.
- Set an example for other boaters.
- Encourage ocean stewardship.
Environmental Education: We partner with National Park Service and the National Forest Service to promote environmental education through our onboard Park Ranger narration and Junior Ranger Program. These programs educate our guests on the history and ecology of Kenai Fjords National Park and Prince William Sound and often highlight how climate change is impacting these areas.
Adventure Green Alaska Certification: Major Marine Tours and our partner company Harbor 360 Hotel are both certified “Green Businesses” through the Adventure Green Alaska program. This certification process recognizes tourism businesses who practice economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability.
Partnerships with Non-Profit Organizations
Major Marine Tours has partnered with the following non-profit organizations: