We inform and inspire!

Education on and off the water is essential to ocean conservation. This philosophy is at the heart of everything we do. We build awareness through the guest experience, our innovative “floating classroom” school program, social media and multiple community outreach activities.

In 2022, we were presented with the Marine Education Award — Outstanding Organization from the National Marine Educators Association. The award honours “outstanding work and leadership in marine education at the local, regional or national level.” We are a North American leader in marine education!

Join us on one of our tours to learn more about our award-winning education initiatives!

If you would like to support and donate to this program please click the button below.

School children enjoying the Salish Sea during one of our “floating classroom” boat tours.

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How do we inspire through education?

THE GUEST EXPERIENCE

 

At Eagle Wing we believe in the power of ecotourism and the difference it can make to the long-term health of the ocean and plants and animals that live there. We offer one of the longest tours in the region and extend our tours when needed.

Our passionate and knowledgeable naturalists provide personalized, science-based interpretation of what our guests are seeing. We stress biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life. It’s important to us that our guests make an emotional connection with this special place and its wildlife. Our goal with every tour is to inform, inspire and protect—to transform our guests into passionate advocates for the health of the Salish Sea and beyond.

OUR FLOATING CLASSROOM

 

What better investment is there in the health of the ocean than cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards?

In fall 2018 we launched “The Floating Classroom: Exploring the Salish Sea,” an ambitious education outreach program in partnership with the Greater Victoria School District (SD61) and the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM).

Since then six more community partners have joined: the learning and community engagement team at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), Pacific Northwest Transportation Services (PNWTS) , Seaquaria, Wilderness International, the Sooke School District (SD62), and Pearson College UWC.

In 2022, the program won a Partnership Award from the BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association. The award recognizes groups and individuals who “have made a substantial difference in the lives of students in BC public schools.”

Aimed at Grades 4-8, the program offers participating classes a four-part program to foster connection to place in local youth. Using experiential learning and hands-on activities, we help students become ambassadors of the Salish Sea:

    • A classroom presentation by our marine educators reviews the culture and natural history of the Salish Sea.
    • A trip aboard one of our semi-covered catamarans, where students are asked critical thinking questions learn about marine wildlife, ecosystems, and historical and geographical points of interest. Here they can experience all the Salish Sea has to offer: waves, wind, kelp forests, and wildlife.
    • An interactive and hands-on learning session led by our marine educators. Activities can include beach clean-ups, salmon migration obstacle courses, exploring tidepools, games about sustainability and salmon habitat, and many more.
    • The fourth session is our “Celebration of Learning” and occurs two or three times a year. Each group creates an artefact reflecting their learning and experiences in the first three sessions. Classes come together in local high schools to share their artefacts with their peers.

The program ties directly into the BC curriculum and looks at the Salish Sea through several lenses: ecology, science and technology, current and historical culture, Indigenous perspectives, use of natural resources and more. To date, more than 8,000 “Salish Sea Ambassadors” have participated in the program, which is funded in part by the Wild 4 Whales Foundation. Learn more about the program here.

What our school program partners are saying about us:

“[Our partnership with Eagle Wing Tours] gives our students the opportunity to connect with local experts, to physically get out on the water and to witness the diversity of this area for themselves, helps the students build a connection with this incredible place.”

Aaron Maxwell, vice-principal of Central Middle School, Victoria

“There’s no better way for our students to learn about the natural and cultural history of the Salish Sea than being onboard with Eagle Wing! This incredible place-based education program allows students to experience our rich marine backyard in a safe and exhilarating way that will stay with them for a lifetime.”

Kathryn Cook, Teacher, South Park Family School and École Margaret Jenkins School

“The first-hand sensory experience of being out on the water sparks student excitement and curiosity. Cultivating a sense of wonder and connection with the natural world in young people is vital to creating a more sustainable society. Eagle Wing programs help our schools do just that!

Ken Andrews, Principal, Monterey Middle School (Greater Victoria School District)

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ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY

At Eagle Wing, we’re in a privileged position to share our local knowledge and passion with others. Getting to know our neighbours and building awareness about how all our actions affect the oceans will help create a more sustainable future.

Among our outreach activities:

    • Founded World Ocean Day at Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular family-friendly event that promotes awareness of the world’s oceans. The event is now co-hosted with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and brings together over 20 organizations dedicated to ocean conservation and education.
    • Co-founded the Victoria Sustainable Tourism Alliance (VISTA), which
    • Co-founded the annual Earth Day Power Hour
    • Co-founded Ocean Week Victoria, a week of fun virtual ocean-themed activities aimed at all ages

Other outreach involvements:

    • Beach clean-ups with Sea Shepherd Vancouver Island and Surfrider Vancouver Island
    • Purchase and deploy of reef balls around the harbour to expand marine habitat, working with World Fisheries Trust, the Bateman Centre and others
    • Science Literacy Week
    • School Career Fairs
    • World Migratory Bird Day
    • Nature Kids Victoria
    • Royal Roads University – various program streams
    • Aboriginal Tourism Program
    • Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea lecture series
    • Sea Rangers Club
    • Greater Victoria Naturehood
    • All Buffleheads Day
    • LiveIt
    • Expert participation on social media live events with partners
“Eagle Wing Tours is committed to local marine education and one way of showing this has been through their community leadership for many years in World Oceans Day, and more recently as a force in its expansion to Oceans Week Victoria.”

Past co-chair, Canadian Network for Ocean Education

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Eagle Wing family to bring kids to the ocean and the ocean to kids. Eagle Wing was a critical supporter of Live It’s early-stage growth and marine educational initiatives. Both of our companies care deeply about ocean literacy and in connecting youth to impactful marine experiences.”

Mike Irvine, Co-founder & CEO, Live It

Shaw Ocean Discovery Center

Champions for the Salish Sea, the ‘little aquarium’ in Sidney, BC inspires all generations to explore, respect and take action on behalf of the world’s oceans.

Goldstream Hatchery

Salmonoid incubation programs provide over 60 schools with in-class aquariums and 20,000 salmon eggs to help children learn about the delicate lifecycle of our wild Pacific salmon.

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” – David Attenborough