Ursa Major Charters is committed to sustainable tourism in Alaska, and in April 2016, we were certified as a sustainable tourism business in Alaska through the Adventure Green Alaska program Please click HERE for information on the Adventure Green Alaska program.
The majority of the excursions during our adventure trips are non-motorized, and focus on no-trace kayaking. Aboard the Ursa Major, we turn off our power-generating systems at night to not only save on fuel, but to ensure our guests will experience Alaska without noise pollution in a tranquil setting.
We have practiced onboard recycling for nineteen years in Alaska, and we recycle each time we are in port in either Petersburg or Sitka. We purchase and utilize recycable, compostable, and/or biodegradable items for food service and product packaging.
Ursa Major Charters holds one of the few U.S. Forest Service “Special Use Permits” for shore excursions in the Tongass National Forest. This “no-trace principle” permit allows us to hike ashore and explore places few other visitors ever experience first-hand.
To ensure responsible wildlife viewing, we follow all federal guidelines for viewing marine and land mammals. The distance allowed for marine and land mammals is 100 yards (300 feet). We consider this a minimum distance, and we always avoid any adverse impacts on marine and land mammal behavior.
We also strictly abide by the NOAA voluntary guidelines set in August 2015 for vessel operators in harbor seal glacial fjord habitat. This specifically impacts our trips in the Tracy Arm/ Ford’s Terror Wilderness Area and Le Conte Bay/ Le Conte Glacier area in southeast Alaska. These new voluntary guidelines involve maintaining a distance of 500 yards (0.25 miles) from any harbor seals, leaving no wake, avoiding abrupt changes in course or engine pitch, avoiding loud noises, and avoiding traveling through waters with greater than 50% ice cover.