Italy – Dolphin and Marine Life Conservation in Sardinia

Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Europe or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.

Volunteer in the medieval, Italian city of Alghero for bottlenose dolphin and marine conservation while raising public awareness for marine life preservation! This project has three main areas of focus: bottlenose dolphins, Mediterranean seagrass and the study of human activities and tourism and their effects on marine and coastal ecosystems. Join an organization on the island of Sardinia for a special two-week experience in which you can assist in promoting marine conservation while directly making a positive impact.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Alghero, Sardinia, Italy

Project length Project length: 2 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Alghero-Fertilia Airport (AHO)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Marine research, data collection, observation, photo identification

Age Age: 18-45

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 8 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note: This project is designed for mature, independent volunteers.

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms in mobile homes

Food Food: The mobile home is equipped with a furnished kitchen. There is a market at the campground for volunteers to buy food. The cost of meals is not included in the project price. Volunteers must be able to prepare their own meals

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport transfers provided on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: All necessary training will be provided upon arrival.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, meals, personal expenses.

This project takes place in Alghero, a medieval city that is located on the island of Sardinia in Italy. Alghero continues to have a taste of Spanish culture, characterized by its impressive yacht lineup and bright golden sea walls from when it was a part of Catalan. Today, Alghero is a popular tourist destination, and is sometimes referred to as the Coral Riviera because of its abundance of “precious coral,” also known as “red coral.”

The island of Sardinia is varied in its terrain; with countless oak forests and trails waiting to be explored. With crystal blue waters and endless sandy beaches – this Mediterranean paradise, with its unique and varied, beauty is a must for any traveller.

 

Volunteers will participate in the experimental investigation of human activities and the consequences on the P. oceanica seagrass population and coastal ecosystems. Volunteers will also be researching bottlenose dolphins and raising awareness within the local community regarding the effects that humans and tourism have on marine and coastal organisms. Volunteers will be educating tourists on the importance of responsible tourism and the negative impacts from popular tourist boating activities.

As a volunteer on this project you will be participating in a wide array of research and conservation activities of marine coastal species. This project focuses mainly on bottlenose dolphins, Mediterranean seagrass and other coastal habitats, the effects that tourism, fishing and climate change have on these species and habitats. Volunteers will be collecting data through observation, photo identification and snorkel/trekking surveys as well as taking part in activities to educate the public and raise awareness for marine conservation within the local community.

Some of your tasks may include:

  • Data collection of flora and fauna
  • Observation, photo identification and data collection of bottlenose dolphins
  • Observation of posidonia oceanica (Mediterranean seagrass) meadows
  • Drone flights, snorkeling and trekking surveys, image processing
  • Beach cleaning
  • Public awareness activities

 

A typical day: Your volunteer workday will begin around 8:00AM and end around 2:00 or 3:00 PM, with a lunch break in between. On days where volunteers will be working in the field during lunch hours, they will bring a packed lunch. Volunteers will work five days per week, and spend two free days per week exploring the Alghero and Sardinia Island. These two free days may not necessarily be during the weekend, as the schedule may vary.

Please note: The daily activities and itinerary can change depending on the weather conditions and current research needs. This project only runs April-May and September-October.

Internet icon Internet:Wifi packages are available at the campground for an additional fee. There are also Internet cafes in the nearby center of Alghero.

Laundry icon Laundry: There are laundry facilities at the campground that are available for a small fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Shared mobile home with up to 3 volunteers per home, in a campground with fully equipped kitchen and private bathroom with hot showers. The mobile homes are mixed gender, but the rooms are same-gender. There is a restaurant, market and bar on the campground. There is a bus every 20 minutes into the center of Alghero, and the beach is also near the camping area. Transportation to and from the project location is provided every workday.

Food icon Food: The mobile home is equipped with a furnished kitchen. There is a market at the campground for volunteers to buy food. The cost of meals is not included in the project price. Volunteers must be able to prepare their own meals.

 

 

Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Basic level of English
  • Ability to swim, walk, and work for 6 hours per day
  • High level of independence
  • Ability to prepare meals independently

The island of Sardinia is abundant with sites waiting to be explored by our volunteers! From enchanting caves to bright blue beaches and World Heritage Sites, this island has it all! The following are just a handful of our travel suggestions, available for an additional fee:

Grotta di Nettuno (Neptune’s Grotto)
Neptune’s Grotto is the perfect place for the exploration of 2 million-year-old, beautifully preserved, stalactite caves! There are daily boat transfers from Alghero Port.

Spiaggia della Pelosa (La Pelosa Beach)
La Pelosa Beach is one of Europe’s most beautiful and fun beaches to visit! Situated alongside the bright sand is the 16th century Torre della Pelosa watchtower and the beach offers plenty of water activities, from diving excursions to boat rentals.

Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago di La Maddalena (La Maddalena National Park)
Situated on the northern coast of Sardinia, La Maddalena National Park consists of several islands that can be explored by boat. The National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Volunteer Experiences

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