Judyth Piazza chats with Zach McKenna, St. Augustine Eco Tours (Click here to listen)
My name is Zach McKenna and I am founder of St. Augustine Eco Tours, an education based boat and kayak tour company. I grew up learning to be a naturalist on the waterways of South Carolina and Florida. My wife and I feel that the best way to preserve our beautiful salt marsh environment and the dolphins and other wildlife, is to show it to people. So, we created this fun little company as a platform to teach our community and to further some research we are doing on the local wild dolphin population.
St. Augustine Eco Tours was founded as an educational resource for the local and extended community. The goal of our programs is on-water interpretive experiences that focus on environmental education, conservation, and wildlife and habitat protection.
St. Augustine Eco Tours has started the first major population study of the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin in our area. All research is non-invasive and internally funded. We are a resource to our community in efforts for marine mammal protection and wildlife rescue. A percentage of income is contributed to local, national and international environmental organizations.
Constantly striving to reduce our impact as a company, we operate the most fuel efficient boats with engines that produce ultra low emissions. We have adopted new technologies to reduce print advertising impacts and operate a paperless back office.
Our continuing goal is to give back to the community through research and presentations. In the future, we will take this a step further by building a program that offers under privileged schools the opportunity to get on the water for natural observation experiences.