Based on a tiny island 45 minutes from mainland Belize, this is a unique volunteer experience that focuses on conserving and preserving the stunning marine environment of the Caribbean. As a Marine Conservation volunteer, you will assist local marine biologists to gather data, conduct surveys and remove invasive species.
The project involves going on at least two scuba dives per day in various locations doing a range of tasks. Those who don’t have current open water diving certifications are able to get PADI qualified on the project, before starting your volunteering in earnest. See below for more details.
Marine volunteers receive comprehensive training to prepare conducting valuable underwater research. This involves identification training for marine wildlife, including lionfish, corals, whale sharks and queen conch. You will also be taught how to spear fish, collect data, and carry out coral surveying - a key skill in marine conservation as a universal approach to monitoring the state of coral reefs. Volunteers will also participate in a weekly beach clean-up to remove harmful plastics and trash that endanger and kill countless marine life species.
Volunteers can expect to take part in 13 dives each week: two dives on Monday (the first dive is a check-out dive), three dives on Tuesday through to Thursday, one dive on Friday, and at least one night dive. The activities you can expect to be involved in are:
The activities you can expect to be involved in are:
- Eradicating invasive species from coral reefs: Invasive Lionfish population control and monitoring (spearing and dissecting Lionfish)
- Queen Conch and Lobster surveys to set sustainable fishing limits
- Biodiversity (fish and coral) identification dives to enhance your knowledge and understanding of reef ecosystems
- Monitoring coral reef bleaching and learning how we can protect our reefs from a warming planet
- Whale Shark Research: Monitoring and reporting on these giants of the ocean (if spotted)
- Weekly beach and island trash and plastic removal on islands of the Belize Barrier Reef
An Open Water Dive Certification is required to participate on this project and can be obtained at the start of your project, or in advance of your trip. Belize is a wonderful place to learn with calm clear waters and little current. You will also need to complete an online e-learning course, which is an additional cost, and must be completed prior to arriving in Belize.
The PADI dive certification courses offered in Belize are as follows:
- PADI Open Water Certification (3 days) – $150
- PADI Advanced Open Water Certification (1 week) – $200
- PADI Rescue Diver Certification (1 week)– $250
- PADI Dive Master Certification (4 week minimum stay) – $400
- PADI Specialty Course: Invasive Lionfish (3 days) – $100
- PADI Specialty Course: Coral Reef Conservation (3 days) – $100
- PADI Specialty Course: Fish Identification (3 days) – $100
- PADI Specialty Course: Deep Diver (3 days)– $100
- PADI Specialty Course: Emergency First Response (2 days)– $100
- PADI Specialty Course: Underwater Photographer (2 days) – $175
When you apply for this project, please specify whether you are Open Water Dive certified in your application or whether you will be taking the Open Water Dive certification course, or if you wish to take additional dive certification courses with the team in Belize.
All dive equipment is available for hire for an additional $25 per week, which is paid directly to the local team in-country. Please note, this EXCLUDES mask with snorkel, booties, wetsuits (long or short, 3mm minimum), and dive fins, which volunteers must bring themselves.Apply now