The Fonds EcoMaris pour la jeunesse et les océans

Supporting the environmental and oceans education sectors that are dedicated to youth

EcoMaris, a non-profit social economy organization, was created in 2006 to operate Quebec’s first-ever environmentally oriented sailing vessel for training. It has since then been organizing maritime expeditions focused on multidisciplinary learning. It first acquired extensive experience in places as far afield as Amazonia. Currently, the organization centers its programming on the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic Ocean.

More specifically, it offers training in sailing to a variety of groups. In doing so, they teach them about navigation, the environment, and civic engagement. It also organizes expeditions that inventory the St. Lawrence’s flora and fauna. This way, EcoMaris contributes to scientific research in these areas. Lastly, EcoMaris offers the public workshops and conferences on topics like sailing techniques and the environment. Among the groups for whom training programs have been created are school-age children (Redonner le Saint-Laurent [Giving back the St. Lawrence]), Indigenous people (Fleuve des origines [The river of origins]), young adults in difficulty (Parcours Cabestan [Cabestan journey]) and women (Routes des Possibles [Paths of possibility]).

Supporting people through navigation and education

These expeditions teach them some of the science of navigation. They also help improve its participants’ physical and mental health, and augment their social, professional and environmental know-how. This approach tends to encourage participants to move forward in their lives. For example, some have returned to school or seeked out professional reintegration or community engagement. Voyagers learn about the importance of self-awareness, team work, creativity, independence and responsibility. They also acquire knowledge about the fundamentals of navigation, seafaring trades, and ecosystems and their conservation. What’s more, EcoMaris’s projects are carried out in a spirit of collaboration with the communities and organizations that support them.

At the end of the summer of 2013, the organization started its own fund at the Foundation of Greater Montréal. In 2023, on the eve of its 10th anniversary, the Fonds Ecomaris pour la jeunesse et les océans continues to support EcoMaris – and will do so in perpetuity – as a vital youth-oriented organization active in the fields of education, the environment, and the health of our oceans. Bravo!

Visit EcoMaris’ website

To donate to the Fund

Photo credit: Auguste Courtin.