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10 Benefits of Great Barrier Reef Volunteering
16th March 2016

Marine Conservation

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most iconic and popular natural wonders in Australia. The reef itself is a long ecosystem of hundreds of islands and thousands of reefs that are home to various species of fish, starfish, molluscs, sharks, dolphins, and turtles. There are not many volunteering opportunities that aim to help preserve the beauty and integrity of the Great Barrier Reef. You may have to research hard to find them. If you live locally or abroad, there is an opportunity to join a Great Barrier Reef volunteer program in Australia. There is a non-profit organisation that recruits volunteers for the project. When you become a Great Barrier Reef volunteer, you can:
 
  1. Help treat sick and injured marine turtles – These animals are brought in from the Cape York Peninsula and the Great Barrier Reef due to starvation, disease or injuries caused by discarded fishing gear, boats, and ingested plastic. Most turtles suffer from 'floaters disease' too.
 
  1. Keep a rescue centre for animals running – Volunteers can lend a helping hand at a rescue centre and assist in the care ofsick and injured turtles. You can assist in cleaning turtle tanks, feeding turtles or work on special projects where you help with important research.
 
  1. Gain some valuable and unique experiences– The Great Barrier Reef is unique to Australia and there is plenty of opportunity to explore while working with animals like the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill.
 
  1. Make a big difference – The rescue centre opened over 3 years ago, and since then, its success rate in rehabilitating injured and sick animals and returning them to the sea has grown to over 85 percent from a mere 20 to 30 percent, thanks to the research that has gone into their care.
 
  1. Spread the word – Apart from rehabilitating injured and sick turtles, you can help promote sustainable and humane practices through education and co-operation initiatives.
 
  1. Help in reef monitoring research – Depending upon the time of year, volunteers can assist the staff in monitoring the reef.
 
  1. Rescue turtles – Volunteers may provide assistance when there is a need to save turtles in distress.
 
  1. Enjoy an adventure – If you love animals and travelling, volunteering on theGreat Barrier Reef is anexcellentopportunity to go on an adventure of a lifetime.
 
  1. Clean the beach – Volunteers can participate in beach clean-ups on the Great Barrier Reef.
 
  1. Have fun – Volunteers are free to use water sports equipment during their free time.


Written by Tracy Leske (Director, Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers)

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