Volunteer to conserve the marine life around Catalina Island, California.


Conserving Marine Life along Catalina’s Coast


Who: Earthwatch

Where: Two Harbors, Catalina Island, California, North America.

Focus: Discover the effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs) around Catalina Island. Plus, help researchers determin how global threats, such as climate change, are impacting the area’s marine life.

When: October – November (set expedition dates).

Duration: 7 days.

Suitability: Over 18s.

Cost: Available here.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Help scientists collect vital data on the health of Catalina Island’s marine ecosystems.
  • Conduct surveys of the marine protected areas by walking along the coastline to monitor human activities. This research will feed directly into Catalina’s coastal policies and help ensure these protected areas receive the support they need to function effectively.
  • Kayak along the coastline to record, observe, survey, and photograph the abundance of marine mammals, such as California sea lions, gray whales and common dolphins.
  • Measure and record rocky intertidal species and their abundance during the day and night.
  • Collect water samples to determine the impacts of harmful algal blooms.

The Base

Accommodation: Volunteers stay at the Residence Hall at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Electricity, refrigeration, and internet are available.

Sleeping: Shared, Single-gender rooms with twin or bunk beds.

Food: 3 meals a day cooked by the marine lab’s chef. Meals are served as a buffet and a small number of snacks will be available throughout the day.

The next step

Visit Earthwatch for more info and to book. Please say that you heard about this project from Sea Fans.


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Be inspired: Discover more ways to volunteer in marine conservation.

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