Eastern Shore Ecotour Guide Certification Program

Promoting Ecotourism on Virginia's Eastern Shore

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For ecotourism to be a sustainable resource the environment must be protected, even as tourists are enjoying it.  Promoting ecotourism is a way of creating an economic reason to protect natural areas, in addition to increasing awareness of the value of our natural resources.  By providing ecotour training to guides, we can reduce potential conflicts over use of resources and the inadvertent damage to animals, plants and natural areas often associated with tourism.

Ecotour guide certification and instructor courses were first offered on Virginia's Eastern Shore by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 2005 through grants from the Virginia CZM Program as part of the Virginia Seaside Heritage Program.

In October 2009, the Eastern Shore Community College began offering a new suite of ecotour guide certification courses through a grant from the Virginia CZM Program.

In the spring of 2014, the Virginia Certified Ecotour Course curriculum was expanded to include all of coastal Virginia and made available in an online format.  In this way we were able to educate and collaborate with tour operators and outdoor enthusiasts not only from the Eastern Shore, but from the Middle Peninsula, Virginia Peninsula, and even overseas!    

Visit the Virginia Ecotour Guide Certification webpage to learn more about how to become an official Virginia Ecotour Guide, and for a list of currently certified guides. 

 

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For comments or questions concerning this program's web pages, contact Virginia Witmer.

This website is provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a Coastal Zone Management Act grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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