Eco-Tour Operator Best Practices Certification Program

The Division of Coastal Resources Management (DCRM) is offering a FREE Eco-tour Operator Best Practices Course for marine sports operators and tour guide operators from July – September 2024. The land and sea create beautiful, unforgettable experiences for our visitors. To remain beautiful and healthy, these spaces and their ecosystems (animals and plants) must be interacted with care for by all those who use it.

During the peak of tourism in the late 2010s, DCRM observed poor visitor behaviors (such as littering and trampling on corals) that degrading our precious nearshore waters, beaches, and coral reefs. DCRM and other government agencies believe that marine sports operators and tour guide operators have an important role in the conservation of our coastal resources. They can greatly minimize tourism’s impact by having a strong awareness of their environment and commitment to adopting best practices and following DCRM’s rules and regulations. This course will teach those best practices to achieve a safer, cleaner, healthier environment where customers can enjoy.




REGISTER NOW: Sign up for the ECO-TO-BP Course!



Why should MSO and tour guide operators take the course?
  • FREE: No cost! We only need your time and willingness to register and learn.
  • EXCELLENT INCENTIVE: Good standing marine sports operators can earn a 25% discount on their DCRM Watersports permit fee through certification from this program.
  • CERTIFIED AND RECOGNIZED: Certification is granted upon completion of the course. Your company will be recognized for committing to environmental best practices in the CNMI with a free sticker!
  • IMPROVED RESULTS ON OUR ENVIRONMENT: The main goal of this course is to increase trained, fully environmentally aware operators. With knowledge and resources, they are stewards of the natural spaces they work in. The anticipated outcome is a cleaner, safer experience for their customers and other visitors to the site.



  • Corals and Marine Environment – Participants learn about coral health, threats to corals, and best practices to reduce their impacts while conducting in-water activities.
  • Healthy, Safety, and Pollution – Participants learn about helpful best practices to minimize their waste and general safety measures to prevent accidents.
  • Rules and Regulations – Participants learn more about DCRM and other applicable government regulations so they can maintain environmental compliance.


LOCATION: DCRM Learning Center, Room 301, Bureau of Environmental Coastal Quality building

LENGTH OF THE COURSE: Maximum 4 hours of instruction *NOTE: DCRM has removed the examination implemented last year.*

STATUS OF NEXT COURSE: JULY 11, 2024 – 8:00 – 11:30 AM

Register below. Email us at with your interest.
Sign up for the ECO-TO-BP Course!


Beginning October 2024, the Eco-Tour Operator Best Practices Course will no longer be available and instructed by DCRM staff. The course material will be fed into the Marianas Visitors Authority’s Tour Guide Certification Course. The MVA certification can be used to meet the Eco-Certification requirement for the DCRM Watersports Permit. The copy of the certificate must be attached to a written request for the Watersports permit discount addressed to the DCRM Director. Review NMIAC § 15-10-205 (h)(4)(i) for the available discounted MSO fees for qualifying “green” and “sustainable eco-tour” certifications.

Contact DCRM at 670-664-8300 for information.

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2024