Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth's surface area and are home to a number of astonishing plants and animals. They play an important role in maintaining the planet's surface temperature through climate regulation and are a key component of the water cycle. Although the oceans provide numerous benefits to our planet, they are under threat.
Plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change are just a few issues compromising the health of our oceans. As these threats are so diverse and complex, it can be hard to know how you, as an individual, can start combating these issues.
World Ocean Day is on 8 June, and what better way to pay tribute to our oceans than by protecting it on one of our Marine Conservation Volunteering Projects! From scuba diving abroad in Belize and Thailand to working with sea animals like sharks in Fiji, we’ve compiled a list of our best Marine Conservation Projects for volunteers of all ages, as well as ones for teenagers, groups and older volunteers.
Protect the coral reefs in Thailand
Want to get PADI certified and help to conserve coral reef ecosystems at the same time? Travel to the Andaman Sea and join our Marine Conservation Project in Thailand! Work alongside marine conservationists on the beautiful beaches of Ao Nang. In your first week as a marine conservation volunteer in Thailand, you’ll learn how to scuba dive and obtain your PADI Open Water Diver certificate.
After you get your certificate, you’ll get involved in marine surveys and coral propagation activities that promote the health of our oceans. Coral propagation is a cost-effective way to breed corals and restore reefs, but more importantly, it helps alleviate the demand placed on them to preserve endangered species.
Out of the water, you’ll participate in beach clean-ups along Ao Nang's coastline, as litter and other pollutants can be extremely harmful to marine wildlife. You’ll raise awareness about the importance of protecting our oceans in the local community and plant mangroves along the coastline. Mangroves protect coasts from erosion and absorb a large amount of carbon from the atmosphere. This Marine Conservation Project is a great way to get your hands dirty. It’s also a start towards better health for our oceans and the communities they support.
Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Thailand:
Marine conservation volunteering with sharks in Fiji
Volunteer with sharks in Fiji and protect one of the planets most endangered animals. Sharks are also crucial to the health of our marine environment. If you’re interested in shark conservation volunteer work, this is the project for you! In Fiji, you’ll work alongside the WWF and Project AWARE to feed, identify, and tag sharks.
"It was insane that our first experience as newly certified divers would be shared with more than 30 bull sharks. I was amazed with all the work done through the shark dive. The team were amazing and made sure everyone felt safe and secure throughout the dive. I am itching to go back and experience it all again."
If you’re an adventurer at heart with a passion for the environment, this Marine Conservation Project will expose you to cutting edge shark research. Our Marine Conservation Project in Fiji is exceptionally important as it could help keep sharks off the critically endangered species list. Moreover, you’ll help reduce the number of sharks killed by humans each year by raising awareness of the importance of sharks in the local area.
Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Fiji:
Become a sea turtle conservation volunteer in Mexico
Wondering where you can volunteer abroad to work with sea turtles? Mexico it is! Live on a beach and save the ocean by becoming a sea turtle conservation volunteer. Sea turtles play an important role in the marine ecosystem but are under threat in Mexico due to poaching, coastal erosion, and plastic pollution.
On this project, you’ll help protect sea turtles by identifying and relocating turtle nests to a protected area. This ensures the survival of the nests and once the eggs have hatched, you can release the hatchlings and watch them waddle towards freedom!
As a sea turtle conservation volunteer, you’ll also take part in biodiversity studies to monitor the presence and condition of local wildlife. This is essential data from which conservation decisions can be made. Furthermore, you’ll have the opportunity to work with crocodiles, aid in beach cleanups, and participate in environmental outreach and education. There are lots of ways to help save the ocean in our Marine Conservation Projects in Mexico.
Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Mexico:
Save the Belize Barrier Reef
Dive into the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and become a coral reef conservation volunteer in Belize! As a Belize conservation volunteer, you’ll get your PADI Open Water Diver certification and complete survey dives to collect data on marine species and monitor water quality. The data obtained in these surveys is vital to saving our oceans, as it’s passed on to the local government and used to inform conservation policies.
"My interest in marine conservation and specifically coral reefs started at a young age when I first started scuba diving. Since then, I have always been fascinated by the ocean and marine environment and wanted to protect it."
Stephanie - Diving and Marine Conservation in Belize
Along with pollution and warming waters, lionfish are also a major threat to our coral reefs, specifically in Belize. Very few predators eat lionfish which means their populations spiral out of control, and it threatens other marine species. One of your tasks as a coral reef conservation volunteer is to spear and kill them during dives. As part of your community work, you’ll teach the locals how to prepare and cook the lionfish. By doing so, they’ll help combat the growing lionfish issue in Belize.
You’ll also get to raise awareness about marine conservation in Belize and talk to local communities about the importance of living sustainably. Education is essential in order to ensure the success and sustainability of our Marine Conservation Projects.
Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Belize:
Conserve marine iguanas and sea lions in the Galapagos
The Galapagos islands are renowned for their rich biodiversity but are under threat from the impact of humans and invasive species. Channel your inner Charles Darwin and join one of our best Marine Conservation Projects for volunteers on San Cristobal Island! We’re the only organisation to have an official partnership with the Galapagos National Park so you’ll get to experience Ecuador like no other volunteer.
This project will involve monitoring the Galapagos Petrel bird and participating in a marine iguana census. Marine iguanas are the world’s only oceangoing lizards and play an important role in maintaining the balance of the delicate ocean ecosystem. Additionally, you’ll assist in monitoring the local sea lion population. This is important work as it helps us keep track of their numbers!
Save the ocean by engaging in beach cleanups to protect the vulnerable marine animal populations from unnecessary dangers and facilitate the restoration of natural habitats. Visit our project page to learn about a typical day in the Galapagos islands conservation project.
Learn more about our Conservation Projects in Ecuador: