Conservation and Education
Naturaliste Charters offer personalised eco-adventures that showcase the spectacular coastal and marine environments of the stunning South-West of Western Australia, while contributing to research, understanding and conservation of the unique and special part of the world we call home. Our world-class experiences aim to educate and inspire, and our guests leave with memories for a lifetime.
As a business that showcases the natural environment, we have a deep respect and appreciation for the healthy, diverse marine ecosystems that underpin every experience we offer, and an abiding commitment to create a legacy of conservation that preserves the places we love and the animals that depend on them for future generations.
Our company is ECO tourism certified, an accreditation that recognises high quality nature based tourism experiences that have strong interpretation values, commitment to nature conservation and helping local communities.
We strive to minimise our environmental footprint and increase our green initiatives by improving our waste management and source from local and sustainable suppliers whenever possible. Our ultimate goal is to reinvest into the local community and in enhancing and conserving the environment we live and work in.
WORKING WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Our local communities are at the foundation of our incredible experiences, which are enhanced immeasurably by the support and services the local community provide to our business. We work hard to ensure that we work in harmony with the community and ensure our business provides wide ranging benefits in return. We showcase and promote local food and beverage providers and tourist attractions as part of our tours, and continually look for ways to support local business and the wider community. We hold events such as information evenings at wineries, cafes and community centres where local products and services can be enjoyed by the community while they have the opportunity to learn about their marine environment.
Our dedicated team of passionate staff live in the communities we work in and proudly provide an authentic, local insight into the areas we explore. Many staff conduct their regular work remotely, allowing them to be based in the communities where we operate, and to minimise our carbon footprint.
When operating in our more remote locations, we live in the communities we work in, sourcing local housing, food and supplies to reduce our carbon footprint and to maximise the benefits of our operation to the destination community. While there, we participate in and support local events and provide presentations and information sessions to schools and community groups. Naturaliste Charters strives to deliver a rewarding work life for its staff that allows balance with life outside of work. We provide opportunities for training and development, and are proud that our workforce continues to grow with our business.
We purchase goods and services from local suppliers where possible. This year 82% of all purchases were through local suppliers. Our retail outlet in Dunsborough showcases local artwork, photography, jewellery and clothing, and also sells fundraising products on behalf of local conservation and charity organisations.
Providing education is a fundamental component of our conservation efforts. Our marine biologists have education qualifications and extensive experience in developing and conducting training and education programs for whale watching naturalist guides and ecotourism guides in Australia and internationally.
Marine Science School Awards – We are very proud of the program we have developed in partnership with local schools, creating an opportunity to participate in an expedition for students at each of several schools free of charge. Selection is not based on school performance, but on interest in, and passion for the marine environment and it’s inhabitants. This could be in one or all of the areas of understanding (research), conservation and protection, or in documenting and educating others (making films, books etc). This allows the next generation to connect to science and nature regardless of background, and to support access to science for all students including those with learning difficulties.
Containers for Change – The new container deposit scheme in Western Australia has already had an impact here at Naturaliste Charters. The initiative provides a 10 cent refund for eligible containers. This in turn encourages recycling and reusing materials in Western Australia already in the manufacturing cycle. Here at Naturaliste Charters we are taking part in this scheme by recycling all eligible containers used on board our expeditions. The profits made from these containers will be donated to various local organisations. Throughout our 2021 Bremer Bay Killer Whale season we are donating all eligible containers and their recycling profits to the Bremer Bay Primary School. This small contribution means the local primary can fund more resources such as sports equipment, books or even essential stationary!
Presentations are provided at no cost to local school students in our destination communities. Our marine biologists conduct presentations at local schools to students from kindergarten to Year 12, as well as to TAFE and University students across the south-west of Western Australia.
Each year we host a number of primary, secondary, TAFE and university groups on our cruises and expeditions at or below cost rates. We deliver an interpretation customised to the age of the students, deepening the understanding and connection with the environment, inspiring students to contribute to a sustainable future for the environment and the community.