Posted by WorkingAbroad Projects on Friday, 6th January 2017
In the southeastern Caribbean Sea, you will find the island also known as the "Island of Spice”, but more commonly known as Grenada. An island that offers everything that the Caribbean is known for - beautiful beaches and nature sites, lots of history and a diverse wildlife. Grenada’s unique wildlife includes the critically endangered Leatherback sea turtle. The Leatherback turtle has experienced great resistance due to egg harvesting, unsustainable fisheries, climate change and environmental pollution among other reasons. The Leatherback turtle is critically endangered around the world, which makes conservation efforts more important than ever.
‘Ocean Spirits’ is the name of a non-profit organisation based in Grenada, which has been engaged with conservation efforts since 1999. Their main purpose has been to protect the turtle species found throughout Grenada by engaging with research, education and community development. They have put great emphasis on involving the Grenadian community, who now takes an active role in the conservation of the turtles. Ocean Spirits has managed to take the important step of showing the local population that the Leatherback turtle is more valuable to the community alive, as a part of the eco-tourism programmes, than as dead for the purpose of consumption.
Ocean Spirits offers the opportunity to become one of their Research Assistants, who will get a first-hand experience on working with sea turtles. This is where YOU come in. For a few weeks or even several months, you have the opportunity to be actively involved with the research team, and be part of the conservation efforts that help reduce the illegal poaching activities. You will also be part of the community efforts in place that help create important awareness with the people living in Grenada, who are part of the solution to the future of marine conservation.
It is possible to partake in the programme from February-August this year, which is also during nesting season (March-July). Your duties will be varied and can entail data collection, camp organisation, night patrols and assisting with organised turtle watching tours. Not to forget that you will have the amazing experience of doing all of this work on a beautiful island in the middle of the Caribbean.
While it will be some weeks before being able to join as a volunteer, you can start making a difference today! In the past years, we have witnessed an increasing awareness on plastic and how it ends up in oceans with devastating effects. While plastic can be recycled in most countries, the most sustainable way to help our oceans and its wildlife is by choosing the alternatives. There is no need for you to drink from the single-use plastic bottles or buy another plastic bag at the supermarket. Marine life like turtles are suffering badly from plastic debris, as they either choke on it mistaking it for food or get caught up in it. Do your part, drop the plastic and be part of the solution!
You can learn more about how to volunteer with Ocean Spirits in Grenada, by clicking here
Blog articles from our projects, volunteers in the field and the wider world are posted here.