Changing the world,

one tour at a time

 

Our mission is to foster a deep connection between people and the natural world, and through that connection, elevate awareness of nature’s role in our lives so that, as a society, we may strive to protect it. Our Ecotours offer a unique learning experience in fun and creative ways that facilitate a deep understanding of natural ecosystems along the coast of Southern Vancouver Island.

OUR STORY

In 2019, Martin Stewart gathered a diverse group of people around him who all shared one thing: a deep connection to their coastal home in Victoria, B.C. 

Surrounded by this wealth of knowledge, passion and insight into the local marine and coastal ecosystem, Martin founded Ecosphere Coastal Tours, designed to bring both local residents and international tourists to the most pristine and breathtaking locations along the coast of Southern Vancouver Island.

On board our marine vessel, Ecosphere I, our guests experience a hands-on deep dive into marine and coastal ecology, with the expert guidance of our scientists and storytellers who lead each tour. 

We invite you to come, ask, learn and fall in love with one of nature’s most breathtaking ecosystems, The Pacific Northwest.

Because what you love you protect.

We’ll see you on board!

MEET THE TEAM

MARTIN STEWART

MARTIN STEWART

Founder / Captain

Martin created Ecosphere Coastal Tours in 2019 with the help of a great team of scientists, teachers and mariners. His motivation is to raise conscious awareness of our dependency on healthy and biodiverse ecosystems.

Martin went to sea as a young man, following the footsteps of his father, who is a master mariner.  Throughout his maritime career, he focused on ship safety, and developed several innovative products that gained wide market acceptance. His industry-leading work provided an outlet for his creative mind and energy. 

Martin is inspired by the beauty and complexity of the natural world and he wants to share this passion with as many people as possible. While he acknowledges the environmental challenges we currently face, he’s also optimistic about the future. As the founder of Ecosphere, his driving force is his desire to do better, and by doing so, inspire people for change.

Garry Fletcher

Garry Fletcher

Founder / Guide

Garry is a retired biology and marine science teacher from Pearson College in Metchosin, where he spent extensive time leading students in field work and diving expeditions on and around nearby Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. 

Together with Pearson students and faculty and in cooperation with BC Parks, Garry was instrumental in preserving Rack Rocks as an ecological reserve, and since that time has served as park warden and webmaster for the Reserve.  

Garry currently undertakes contract work in marine education and serves on the Board of Directors for Seachange and Friends of Ecological Reserves. As a founder and Ecosphere guide, Garry contributes a lifetime of knowledge about our local ecosystem, as well as a deep commitment to preserving the diverse life found on land and sea. 

Paul Thomas

Paul Thomas

Captain

Paul has spent his life on and around the water here in Victoria. He holds a Masters Degree in Science, with studies in both marine biology and human psychology, along with expertise on hypothermia from his graduate work. 

During university, Paul spent his summers as a deckhand aboard commercial salmon crawlers off the west coast, and worked as an educator for 33 years until he retired in 2010. For twelve years, Paul lived aboard a 60 foot power boat; his home-base for extensive diving and paddling explorations from Desolation Sound and the Broughton Archipelago to Haida Gwaii and Alaska. 

Paul can’t imagine a better place to live than here on the West Coast. His wealth of knowledge allows our guests to experience the breathtaking scenery and diverse ecosystems he’s spent a lifetime exploring.

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart

Captain

Ryan has worked and lived on the coast his entire life. Originally from Bowen Island, he later moved to the remote Sonora Island, where he worked in the areas surrounding the Discovery Islands. 

Ryan has spent thousands of hours at the helm, exploring marine environments from the Broughton Archipelago to the Fraser River. His passion is to educate people about the importance of marine ecosystems, and share the incredible diversity of marine life in our local wild spaces. 

Francois Michaud

Francois Michaud

Captain

Originally from Quebec City, Francois came to the West Coast in 1995 to live, surf and explore the wild places along our coastal shores. The years he spent in remote Ucluelet, and the close relationships he developed with residents and local Indigenous leaders, shaped his approach to life and instilled a profound desire to protect that fragile and special environment.

Today, Francois is Chief Instructor for the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue (RCMSAR), where he develops, writes and delivers training curriculum for the BC Marine Search & Rescue Volunteers. He brings to Ecosphere years of experience with the Canadian Coast Guard, as well as a passion for education and awareness about the current state of our coastal ecosystem and its biodiversity. 

True to his ceremonial Indigenous name, Thunder Hawk, given to him by the Hereditary Chief in an honorary naming ceremony in Ucluelet, Francois is devoted to inspiring Ecosphere guests to preserve our sensitive ecosystems. After a day steeped in fun and adventure, guests should return to the dock with new awareness of their place in our pristine environment, and a sense of personal transformation. 

Richard Kool

Richard Kool

Guide

Richard is a professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University where in 2003, he founded the MA program in Environmental Education and Communication. He has worked as a secondary school teacher, as an educator and head of public programs at the Royal BC Museum, as head of Interpretation for BC Parks and in the Biodiversity section of the BC Ministry of Environment.

His biological research has ranged from the ecology of single-celled ciliated protozoa to the walking speed of dinosaurs in northern BC and the whales hunted by Nuu-chah-nulth whalers on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

He has also published on topics related to: effectiveness of museum exhibits; religion, environment and education, and; hope and despair in environmental education.