Diving with a Purpose: Volunteer Opportunities for Scuba Divers in 2024

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Whale Shark feeding at the surface
Hammerhead sharks swimming

Turtle Island Restoration Network – Cocos Island Dive Expeditions

Combine the dive trip of a lifetime with the opportunity to participate in sea turtle and shark migration research!

Cocos Island is an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. approximately 342 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. The island’s isolation has fostered a unique ecosystem, teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Cocos Island National Park, established in 1978, encompasses the entire island and its surrounding marine environment.

Volunteers participating may spend time retrieving, maintaining, and re-deploying acoustic receivers, censusing sharks and rays, and photo-documenting species and activities. The expeditions only take place a few times a year, so be sure to register sooner rather than later. Get full details at the Turtle Island Restoration Network website.

Reef Conservation International – Marine Conservation in Belize

Lionfish are native to the warm, tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region but pose a significant threat to native ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, where they have been introduced as invasive species. Their voracious appetite and lack of natural predators have led to overpopulation and the depletion of native fish populations.

Scuba diving volunteers who elect to work with Reef Conservation International in Belize will work to help remove lionfish through spearfishing while increasing their knowledge about coral reef ecosystems. In addition to this, divers will participate in biodiversity identification dives, beach clean-ups, and potentially monitor whale shark activity!

Learn all about this opportunity on the Reef Conservation International website. Groups are formed weekly!

Raja Ampat islands with beautiful water

Barefoot Conservation – Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat, an archipelago in Indonesia’s West Papua province, is renowned for its exceptional marine biodiversity, harboring a dazzling array of marine creatures that range from tiny invertebrates to majestic manta rays.

Barefoot Conservation works hand in hand with the local government and Papuan communities to protect the coral reefs. Volunteers will work on underwater surveys and manta ray surveys. Additional community projects help increase the quality of life and alleviate poverty in local communities, such as Education, Waste Management, Health Clinics, Family Planning, Dental Hygiene, and Renewable Energy.

Learn more about volunteering in Raja Ampat on the Barefoot Conservation website.

IMPACTRIP Marine Conservation – Portugal

IMPACTRIP runs marine conservation programs along the Portuguese coastline, providing the perfect opportunity to explore European waters. After arriving in Lisbon, divers are taught about the local community and marine conservation projects. Ocean clean-up dives are supervised by an experienced guide and diver, making this a great volunteer option for beginner divers. In fact, the organization provides classes through SSI for those who are so inclined!

Learn more about the current marine conservation programs available through IMPACTRIP.


Gapforce – Koh Tao, Thailand Marine Conservation

Looking for a volunteer opportunity in Thailand? Gapforce provides marine conservation programs that last 4, 8, or 12 weeks in Koh Tao.

Scuba diving in Koh Tao is a world-renowned experience, offering divers of all levels the opportunity to explore vibrant coral reefs, encounter diverse marine life, and immerse themselves in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

Through Gapforce, volunteers will continue the work of building artificial reefs Classroom sessions will give students knowledge about surveying methods and data collection.

Learn more and download a brochure on Gapforce’s website.

Organize Your Marine Conservation Own Event!

If you can’t dedicate the time or money to one of the above volunteer opportunities, consider organizing your own! Every little bit helps. One popular way to assist our underwater world is to organize a beach or underwater clean-up, removing plastic waste from the environment.

If you have other volunteer programs for scuba divers and are interested in getting the word out, let the team at Scuba Girl Gear know! Contact us at info@scubagirlgear or fill out the contact form below.

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