GREAT BARRIER REEF
Lady Musgrave Experience’s Commitment to Environmental Practices, Sustainability and Reef Ecosystem Health
If you want to experience the best of the Great Barrier Reef with minimal environmental impact, you’re in the right place! We understand that choosing a reef operator is tricky, there are so many across the whole Great Barrier Reef and it is hard to tell which operators have a solid commitment to protecting their coral reef and marine environment while ensuring you have an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Visiting the reef with Lady Musgrave Experience, you can rest assured that you’ll be playing your part to not only reduce the impact of tourism, but maybe even leave the reef more beautiful than what you found it. Here are some of the ways we are committed to environmental practises, sustainability, community partnerships, reef ecosystem health, awareness and education.
Advanced Eco Certified, Climate Action Certified and Respecting our Culture Certified
Lady Musgrave Experience is proud to be one of only 21 certified operators to hold all three!
Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.
✔ Advanced Eco Certification – we have strong interpretation values and a commitment to nature conservation and helping local communities.
✔ ROC – committed to protecting cultural authenticity and integrity, developing sound business practices, environmental protection and acknowledging Indigenous peoples’ spiritual connection to land and water.
✔ Climate Action Certification – undertaken a set of adaption and emissions reduction.
For more about eco certifications please visit http://www.ecotourism.org.au/our-certification-programs/
Our new three-level pontoon nestled in the sheltered waters of Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon, offering a whole new way for day tour guests and overnight visitors to experience the island and the Great Barrier Reef. Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon has zero carbon footprint. The pontoon features the most sustainable and eco-friendly build in the world.
Above the waterline, the innovative zero-impact design is completely solar and wind-powered, and below the waves, coral cultivation and Citizen Science programs give back to the world’s greatest natural treasure.
Citizen Science-Based Pontoon
Planned to launch mid-2023. The new research pontoon will facilitate:
High Standard Tourism Operator
Lady Musgrave Experience is a High Standard Tourism Operator, which means that as part of our commitment to ecologically sustainable use of the marine park, we voluntarily work to a higher standard than required by legislation. High Standard Operator recognition is assessed by independent certification schemes such as Ecotourism Australia and EarthCheck for providing appropriate levels of environmental protection while operating within the Marine Park. The standards we have chosen to adopt enhance environmental protection, reef resilience and tourism sustainability.
No more single use plastics!
We have made every effort to eliminate single use plastics on board. This reduces our waste and ensures there is less plastic entering our beautiful oceans.
Sunscreens and Reef Health
We strongly encourage all guests to reduce the use of sunscreens and lotion which could negatively impact the health of the reef ecosystem. There are many alternatives available such as zincs and lotions that do not contain harmful chemicals such as Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor and 3-Benzylidene camphor.
Aside from using reef safe sunscreens, you can of course seek shade, use Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) sun wear, and wear a wetsuit (available for hire onboard) or stinger suit.
Reef Monitoring and Citizen Science
Visiting the reef with us, you’ll not only create life-long memories, you can also get involved and play your part for the future of the reef. We work together with the local community, indigenous traditional owner land and sea rangers and schools to monitor and protect the reef. Staff are trained in Eye on the Reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s official citizen science program for the Great Barrier Reef, and we provide the opportunity for our local community to learn about, connect, monitor and protect the reef too, through our Reef Keeper, Schools Initiatives and Marine Biologist for a Day programs.
Green Zone, No-Take Marine Park
Operating in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, we are extremely lucky to have a permit which allows us to take our guests to some of the most pristine and untouched reefs in the whole world. Our snorkel area is declared a Marine Park Green Zone, which means that the marine life, coral and animals you’ll discover are all protected from impacts. Green Zones have been proven to harbour a safe environment where marine animals have the chance to grow bigger and become more populous than areas which are open to other impacts such as commercial and recreational fishing.
Visiting a Green Zone also means that we are reducing our impact to an absolute minimum. We have a permanent mooring so that we don’t have to anchor on the reef, we have a strong “look but don’t touch” policy, and the lagoon is home to an array of protected animals such as sea turtles, who will happily swim right alongside you. We are convinced the turtles are so curious and comfortable with guests because we encourage every visitor to respect the marine environment and animals. We do not harm, interfere or pose a threat to marine life in any way, meaning the animals such as turtles are not afraid to approach and give us the best encounter possible! We can’t wait to share these experiences with you!
Environmental Management Charge (EMC)
A requirement of having a tourism permit in the Marine Park is that every reef visitor contributes a small donation to the protection and management of the Reef. The EMC is included in your trip price, and goes directly to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to help with management actions within the marine park.
Lady Musgrave Experience has strong partnerships with organisation such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, with whom we work to ensure the sustainability of the reef ecosystem well into the future. Some of our joint partnerships and activities include:
Master Reef Guides
Lady Musgrave Experience is lucky, honoured and proud to be a part of the Master Reef Guide program. Master Reef Guides are recognised as the world’s leading reef guides, interpreters and story tellers sharing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Visiting the reef with a high standard tourism operator who have one of these reef ambassadors onboard means you can be provided with up-to-date information on the Reef, inspirational stories, and ideas for what you can do to make a difference during your visit, as well as from home, wherever you may live in the world!
The Master Reef Guide program is delivered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and Tourism and Events Queensland. Choosing to visit the Reef with a Master Reef Guide, you are guaranteed the best experience possible on the Great Barrier Reef!
Taribelang Aboriginal Corporation
We work with the local indigenous land and sea people to foster an integrated, collaborative approach to reef protection, and of course to provide guests with a deeper understanding of traditional owner connection to country as well as perspectives on the history and importance of traditional owner presence and environmental management approaches. Taribelang Land and Sea People share stories and contribute to land, sea and cultural heritage, rehabilitation and preservation to ensure the sustainable management of the marine park.
Future Leaders Eco Challenge
Part of our commitment to the environment is inspiring the next generation to care for and take stewardship of the Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has a Reef Guardian Schools program, which provides schools within the reef catchments to opportunity to become involved in stewardship activities and workshops such as the Future Leaders Eco Challenge (FLEC). Lady Musgrave Experience takes part in this event each year as a partner, helping to empower and inspire students, teachers and the wider community with skills and awareness to play their part in protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Local Marine Advisory Committee (LMAC)
Local Marine Advisory Committees are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Management Authority’s management strategy, involving partnerships with a diverse range of local groups and marine park users. It provides a platform for exchange on management issues and engages the local community to take stewardship to reduce threats and build resilience of the reef ecosystems within which they operate. Lady Musgrave Experience is proud to be part of this local community based collaboration to reef management.
Recognizing Risks and Minimizing Tourism Impacts
Our operational philosophy is ‘take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints’. As a GBRMPA recognised High Standard Tourism Operator we voluntarily work to a higher standard than legislation requires recognising the importance of operating with a minimal impact on natural environments. Advanced Eco-certified since 2018 we invest in development and innovation of our products to meet our sustainability goals.
Identifying potential threats/risks to natural environments we have outlined mitigating actions, operational standards and guest management strategies to reduce/mitigate impacts. Ensuring guests are aware of how they can help conserve LMI we communicate messaging using:
Our Environmental Management Plan has been drafted in accordance with world’s best operating practices and legislation from GBRMPA for a daily tourist operation on the GBR. There are 4 key pillars to our EMP: