Blue Lagoon Coral Reef Project, Mauritius
Organisation: WorkingAbroad Projects
Type: Community Development, Environment & Wildlife Conservation, Humanitarian & Community Development
Become a marine conservation volunteer on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and take part in a coral reef monitoring volunteer programme. Get involved with lagoon monitoring, beach cleaning, coral farming, mangrove planting, sea turtle monitoring and local community projects.
- Lagoon Monitoring – involves conducting fish, coral and anthropogenic activity surveys. We aim to be on the water most days collecting valuable data. This will allow us to inform the local community on the state of this precious resource, upon which many of them are dependent.
- Sea Turtle Monitoring Project – this takes place either in a glass bottom boat or by snorkelling within the Blue Bay Marine Park (a Marine Protected Area (MPA) that covers about 300 hectares). It is well-known for providing a home to the critically-endangered hawksbill turtle. This monitoring project aims to: estimate the actual population of turtles in the Blue Bay MPA, determine the degree of residency of turtles in the area, determine the period spent away from the area, determine the importance of the MPA as a foraging site, and determine stressors on the population. This information is deemed critical for the future endeavours to conserve, manage and restore hawksbill turtles in Mauritius.
- Coral Farming – Help with the setup and maintenance of coral farms in the Blue Bay Marine Park, tasks may involve attaching new coral fragments to the farm structure, cleaning existing fragments, or monitoring the growth rates.
- Beach and Mangrove Cleaning – Mangroves protect land against flooding and help to prevent shoreline erosion. Since coral reefs thrive in nutrient-poor waters and mangroves thrive in nutrient-rich waters, mangroves also improve the water quality by purifying the water from wastes and pollutants. Waste is being dumped in the mangroves forest which prevents them from breathing through their roots. We organise mangrove clean-ups two times a year where volunteers are involved in both mangrove monitoring and mangrove cleaning.
- Collaborative Sea Turtle Project – Sea turtles are regularly seen along the coast but have rarely been observed nesting on mainland beaches in the past 50 years. Educational campaigns are organised in schools to teach local children about the importance of sea turtles and why we should protect them.
Every Friday, volunteers take part in an eco-activity discovering the treasures of Mauritius, including visiting the Île Aux Aigrettes island where giant tortoises roam freely, kayaking through the mangroves in the North, visiting the world-famous Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens or discovering the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth.
Mauritius is, with La Réunion and Rodrigues, an island in the Mascarene Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean at approximately 2000 km off the coast of Africa and 900 km from Madagascar. Set on a breathtaking lagoon, the volunteer project is situated in Pointe d’Esny, on the South East coast of Mauritius. Mahébourg is a colourful and lively town, steeped in Mauritian history.
For this volunteer project in Mauritius, lodging is primarily situated around the area of Pointe D’Esny. The nearest town, Mahebourg, is 20 minutes away by public transport. A welcome tour will be given by one of our staff upon arrival in order to provide you with general knowledge of the area.
Volunteers stay in a house with an equipped kitchen. The kitchen and communal areas are on the ground floor, the bedrooms on the 1st and 2nd floors and the office is at the top. Rooms are fully furnished and all bedding and sheets are provided. You should bring your own beach towel. Internet is available for volunteers to use at the office (on the top floor) and you can use the office PC after work hours. We would advise you to bring your own phone, while a sim card can be obtained at a cost. There are local restaurants and eateries very close by and you can locally purchase food to cook your meals. Did you know, seafood is a staple of Mauritian cuisine, which has Asian, Indian, French and British influences?
Volunteers can join this project for 2 weeks to 3 months as a short term volunteer, with the ability to join at any time throughout the year. If you wish to stay for longer you may also join one of our internship programs which last between 2 and 5 months.