Our Impact

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EcoMaris in Figures

Since its inception, EcoMaris has:

  • Nearly covered 30,000 nautical miles
  • Welcomed over 2,700 trainees aboard the EcoMaris 1
  • Enabled over 85% of Capstan participants to find a job
  • Allowed nearly 20% of those participants to go back to school
  • Facilitated more than 25 expeditions with a scientific and/or environmental focus
  • Helped 20 people integrate the maritime industry through scholarships
  • Enabled 20 members of Indigenous communities to ‘reclaim’ the St. Lawrence
  • Organized 4 expeditions with all-female crews
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Leader in Sustainable Development

Since our beginnings, we have been using the global ocean as an educational tool to promote social reintegration and climate action. We have also been highlighting the link between ecosystemic and human health.

Our programs and projects align with the three pillars of sustainable development: society, environment, economy.

With the support of many partners, we:


  • Provide universal access to the St. Lawrence through firsthand experience
  • Multiply the effects of our expeditions through the Web
  • Promote the natural, cultural and historical heritage of the St. Lawrence
  • Support youth reintegration
  • Fight school dropout
  • Socially innovate through participatory governance
  • Welcome diversity by building bridges with Indigenous communities, as part of a co-creation process
  • Support women in "non-traditional" industries, thanks to all-female crews and more
  • Better the life of local populations


  • Reconnect Montreal to the global ocean for a green/blue recovery
  • Increase ocean literacy through direct action
  • Widely raise environmental awareness
  • Protect ecosystems through responsible navigation
  • Take part in discussions on sustainable development
  • Contribute to ocean science for sustainable development
  • Promote ocean science through partnerships
  • Contribute to achieving all 17 UN SDGs
  • Save natural resources through recycling, solar energy and desalination
  • Tend towards carbon neutrality
  • Encourage circular economies when selecting suppliers
  • Encourage local, sustainable and organic production wherever possible
  • Offer quality tourism with a low carbon footprint


  • Increase youth's access to the maritime industry while fighting its labour shortage

Feedback from Participants

Each year, participants in our programs and projects praise EcoMaris. Their feedback is precious to us. Here are the words from a few, who enrolled in our programs between 2016 and today. To make testimonials as clear as possible, EcoMaris has freely edited and translated certain of their segments.

The Capstan adventure totally changed my life. It taught me to really know myself, from every angle. It gave me the chance to discover and grow as an individual, and to meet new people who have become like family to me. (...) I feel capable of accomplishing and facing anything.


Thank you for sharing with me, with patience and kindness, a new passion: sailing!


I went through many very difficult years in my twenties, with mental health disorders, substance abuse, etc. I was forced to leave university in 2015 to go to therapy. I'd been unemployed for years, and my self-confidence had taken a nasty hit. I needed something to get me going again (...). I was fed up with my life and (EcoMaris) offered me exactly the adventure, challenge and renewal I needed.


In the last few years, I'd run out of steam giving to everyone... except myself. So I made a few choices to take care of myself, one of which was to take a bachelor's degree at UQÀM. (...) What a learning experience this Capstan course has been, opening my eyes to myself, my worth and my abilities.


After two incredible trips as an intern, I realized that my heart had been won over by Poseidon: by the sea, the stars and the gulls. So I pulled out the papers EcoMaris had given me. I had all the information I needed to launch my maritime career. (...) I now spend my life pushing myself to the limit, while taking the time to contemplate the universe opening up before me. It's crazy when you think about it: without the Capstan program and the wonderful people who work there, I might not be here today.

Charlotte, seamanship graduate and helmswoman

Look at me today, just over three years after the trip... I'm stronger and I've managed to get rid of my dark thoughts by controlling my anxiety like a warrior! That's how sailing changed my life.


I was able to stop all unnecessary consumption and get back into shape. I plan to continue along this path. It has invigorated my spirit and accentuated my love of life. I'm starting the final lap to get my famous high school diploma. After that, I'm going to study woodworking and, ideally, take my seamanship courses - which I think I'm capable of doing. Many thanks


This adventure changed my life! (...) I'm so grateful to the people who set up this wonderful program. I think we need more accessible initiatives like Capstan. The fact that it's free and doesn't require too much commitment makes it easier for someone like me, who sometimes feels a bit lost, to sign up. I've grown, been fulfilled and transformed. It's a life-changing event that deserves to be experienced! In short, a trip aboard the EcoMaris is a journey towards oneself, discovering oneself through storms and calm. And through others.


EcoMaris (...) helped me to obtain a grant from Emploi-Québec to take maritime safety training at the Institut maritime du Québec, in order to obtain my rating as a Seaman with Transport Canada. (...) In my opinion, the diversity of the participants in the Cabestan program makes for a very rich experience. For two weeks, different worlds live side by side, which necessarily opens up new horizons.


I've made some great friends and built up a network that far exceeds anything Facebook could have suggested. (...) I managed to go back to school and I'm finally going to get my degree in geology. I crossed (...) the Gaspé Peninsula in the middle of the mountains to raise awareness of addiction problems. I've set up an online craft store. I've even got lettuces and tomatoes starting to grow on my balcony! It may sound trivial, but not so long ago, and for years afterwards, I never thought I'd have the energy and optimism to do all this.


I found myself (...) learning to love my St. Lawrence River and its precious wildlife. Deep down, I hoped Cabestan would help me regain confidence in myself and my abilities. And that's exactly what happened.


For me, it was unique, life-changing, confronting and comforting. A place where, among other things, I learned to face myself in beauty and adversity, alone and surrounded.


For me, this journey will never be over (...) It has crystallized in the depths of my soul, thanks to everything I've gained from it, but above all everything I've given by contributing to harmony and acceptance of our imperfections. Releasing the grip to go further, then holding it back on the other side to go even further... Present moment... Seeing the horizon without blinding ourselves or looking back... Living today... Realizing how lucky we are to have friends, responsibilities and rainy days to remind us that we love the sun so much...


I created strong bonds and friendships that endure to this day. But beyond this magnificent experience, I was reminded of the importance of dreaming and following one's passions. I was reminded that, despite the pitfalls, there are people and hope all around us.


Through each other, I got to know myself, identify my limits and strengths, and build my confidence. (...) Sailing also enabled me to reappropriate the river and its culture. I'm originally from Mexico, and I must admit I'd never really had an affinity with this Quebec emblem before. Now, the St. Lawrence carries a part of my history, and I'm grateful for that. My thirst for community and social change led me to go back to school (...) I'm still taming myself every day. Without the awareness that Capstan offered me, the process would have been much longer and more arduous.


I had already taken steps (to start my own business), but traveling with mentors who were all very different from each other helped me to clarify the steps I needed to take to achieve my dream and my goals. I'd like to thank the team, crew, mentors and mentees for this expedition, which will remain engraved in my entrepreneurial journey - and above all, in my heart.


Partner of the United Nations

EcoMaris is a proud partner of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science. Not only do we meet all of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but we also follow our own sustainability charter.

By contributing to ocean research and enhancing cooperation, EcoMaris acts as a vehicle for ocean literacy. Through a participatory, interdisciplinary and inclusive approach, we use the river and the sea to highlight the importance of ecosystems in the fight for climate. Our philosophy pushes us to explore the relation between humans, the global ocean and our planet’s climate and survival, while teaching about conservation and working for the inclusion of minorities.