Align with National Park Service Goals
The National Park Service at Grand Canyon National Park has a worthy mission to:
- Preserve and protect Grand Canyon’s unique geologic, paleontologic, and other natural and cultural features for the benefit and enjoyment of the visiting public.
Grand Canyon Whitewater aims to align with the NPS goal in every aspect of our business, from the office to the operations warehouse to the river environment. The Grand Canyon Whitewater office is nearly a paperless environment. With the switch to emailed information and correspondence with passengers, we have decreased paper waste substantially.
Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association
The Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association (GCROA) is a non-profit trade group made up of the sixteen professional river outfitters which are contracted with the National Park Service to provide the public with multi-day whitewater river trips within Grand Canyon National Park.
GCROA’s mission is:
To protect and conserve the environment and resources of the Grand Canyon with a particular emphasis on the Colorado River corridor;
To provide a diverse range of the highest quality Grand Canyon river experiences for the professionally outfitted public;
To support the people and places of the Grand Canyon river community.
Grand Canyon Fund
The Grand Canyon Fund is a non-profit enterprise managed by a group of licensed river outfitters in Grand Canyon National Park, including Grand Canyon Whitewater. Nearly 80% of all commercial river passengers donate to the Grand Canyon Fund in the amount of a dollar per river trip day.
The donations from each river outfitter are pooled and distributed 100% to non-profit groups working towards conservation and providing access to outdoor experiences for those with physical and socioeconomic challenges.
The Whale Foundation
The Whale Foundation’s mission is to provide confidential access to mental and physical healthcare professionals and a network of support services designed to restore, promote and celebrate the well being of the Grand Canyon River Guiding Community. In 1994 boatman Curtis “Whale” Hansen took his own life. Whale was a dedicated, thoroughly knowledgeable, and respected guide in the Grand Canyon. One of Whales’ greatest attributes was his love for his friends and his willingness to listen to others as they talked through their troubles.
Unfortunately, he rarely asked for any help in return. If there had existed a service or place that Whale felt safe asking for support, it is possible that he wouldn’t have taken his life.
Following Whale’s tragic death, this Foundation was created in his name and memory in an effort to address some of the challenges and uncertainties facing many boatmen. The Foundation also exists to provide a safety net for those transitioning from the profession of river running into other occupations. The Whale Foundation seeks to broaden the career opportunities of professional river guides – providing information, networking, and career counseling services – and assist those who are or become unable to physically perform this work.
Protect and Conserve
“Part of our daily commitment is to protect and conserve the resources. Was that concern evident/did you feel we educated others to do the same?”
Below are several typical passenger responses to this question answered on Grand Canyon Whitewater’s post-trip evaluation.
Absolutely, I was very pleased to see the boatmen’s attitudes about leaving nothing but footprints, excellent job. The day we got home we went to the store to get prints of our pictures. As we were walking in there was an empty water bottle thrown in the shrubs. My sister and I both reached for it at the same time! We laughed and quoted Troy, “If it doesn’t belong there, pick it up.”
Anita Smyth; Oak Harbor, WA
“The guides are to be commended for their emphasis on safety and preservation of the river environment, daily exhorting us to keep everything clean and pristine for those to come after us.”
Bill Haskamp; Rosemount, MN
“Strictly observed. Inspired me to carry more environmental practice at home.”
Mary Ann Olson; Capistrano Beach, California
Grand Canyon Whitewater is proud to be a partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching people to enjoy it responsibly. It is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. Through targeted education, research and outreach, the Center ensures the long-term health of our natural world.