Marine and Coastal Conservation Supporter

founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Josh
Coordinator | Josh
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Contribute towards the un's development goal 14 – life below water
Undertake hands-on conservation work alongside qualified field assistants
Protect posidonia seagrass meadows and sand dune systems in skala
Enjoy the island experience of kefalonia in your free time
Volunteer in a top European location
Protect large seagrass meadows and sand dune systems on a meaningful conservation and research experience in Kefalonia. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Protect large seagrass meadows and sand dune systems as a Greece marine conservation volunteer. Develop research experience and discover all the marine organisms that thrive within the protected marine plants. and explore the sand dunes and their critical role in climate change. Enjoy a fulfilling conservation project as you explore the critical role of sand dunes in climate change when you volunteer in Greece.

Background to the Marine and Coastal Conservation program:

Since 2012, we have been actively engaged in conservation and research on the Greek Island of Kefalonia. With origins in sea turtle protection, our conservation efforts have expanded to incorporate marine and coastal conservation. Indeed, the local team has always been monitoring the changes in beach profiles over time due to environmental and human-induced effects.

As sea turtles are part of both coastal and marine ecosystems, our research has widened to encompass the study of the protected Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows and the sand dune systems. Both of which are categorised as vulnerable on the Red List. This is a critical indicator that quantifies the health of the world's biodiversity. In addition to these ecosystems being important for the nesting and foraging of endangered sea turtles, they are important biomarkers for climate change.

Posidonia oceanica is more commonly known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed. Specifically, it is a seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It forms large underwater meadows that are an important part of the ecosystem. Their conservation status was last assessed in 2018 around the Mediterranean by the European Environment Agency. The outcome for Posidonia was not a positive one. Whilst the habitat is not in danger of disappearing in the immediate future, the European Environment Agency explained how the Posidonia oceanica is in a situation where changes in policy are required for the area to return to the stronger position it requires.

Therefore, further studying of posed threats to Posidonia is hugely important for the future of the species and the planet. For the Posidonia to achieve and maintain a good environmental status, active conservation and study of the area is required. As a marine conservation volunteer in Greece, you will be at the forefront of helping the protected region to achieve this status.

It is not only the seagrass meadows that are under threat. Coastal sand-dune habitats are also endangered on the Greek island of Kefalonia. This is important to note because they play a huge role in maintaining plant and animal biodiversity, which contribute to coastal protection. Sadly, there is a lack of research into dune system changes in Kefalonia. As a result, there is a great need for further studies and research within this area. A large part of your volunteer work in Greece will be based on the sand dunes and conducting relevant habitat surveys.

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you’re volunteering in marine and coastal conservation. When working as a Greece marine conservation volunteer, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. As a marine conservation volunteer, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your conservation work and the impact of your field research through a volunteer experience. Greece is our only European destination where you can embark on a wildlife conservation program project.

Marine and Coastal Conservation Volunteer Placement:

Your program start date for the Skala location is on a Thursday. Situated in the south of Kefalonia, Skala is a village location that is within walking distance of the sand dunes and seagrass meadows. The traditional small fishing village has now grown into a modern seaside town. Its beautiful sandy beach and crystal clear water makes it one of the most popular beaches in Kefalonia.

The program studies the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows and the sand dunes along south-east Kefalonia within the Skala and Mounda beaches. Specifically, the location focus for the project is the coastal and nearshore marine zone of the Mounda Peninsula. Seagrass meadows are a larger carbon sink than the rainforest and play a critical role in mitigating climate change. They form an important ecosystem, providing habitats and nursery grounds for many marine animals as well as other organisms. Sand dunes and their vegetation form a dynamic barrier between sea and land and a specialized ecosystem that is impacted by development and accelerated erosion.

The coastal and marine study areas will be mapped with a drone at regular intervals. Volunteers will not need to have drone skills but will have an opportunity to learn some of the latest uses of drones for environmental science. Surveys over the sea will help locate seagrass meadows and plan snorkel surveys. On the shore, sand dunes will be surveyed by drone to create both topographic and three-dimensional maps, which will help study the ecosystem and track changes over time.

Snorkelling teams will survey the nearshore area to collect geotagged photographs of the seagrass meadows. These will later be analysed to identify species, the types of meadows, and their current state as well as changes over time. The coastal sand dunes will be mapped and studied with beach profile and species identification surveys. The current state of the dunes will be studied, as well as their trends over time. The presence of plastics and other detrimental factors in both the marine and the coastal ecosystem will be recorded, and some shifts will focus on collecting those for recycling or disposal.

Participants on the Greece volunteer program will contribute their time and skills to help collect vital data and help support critical marine conservation work and also understand how marine ecosystems are impacted by direct human activities and by climate change. Data collected by the project will help create one of the most detailed datasets on the coastal and marine ecosystems in the area.



Project Focus - This program is very much focused on conservation activities rather than a traditional gap year/volunteer travel experience. This involves working a 5 day week with the potential of early morning starts and late afternoon shifts. There is plenty of downtime but the team does expect people to be punctual and join all their assigned shifts. You need to have a big passion for marine and coastal conservation and use this as the main motivation for joining the trip. The vast majority of participants have a wonderful experience but a small number of people can find the program to lack the cultural and travel balance that our other destinations offer.

Cycling - The fieldwork covers a range of sand dunes that spans over a large area across the Skala and Mounda beaches. Both beaches are located under 2km from the volunteer accommodation and you will make the short distance to each project site on bikes. Therefore, volunteers must be comfortable cycling a bike on hilly terrain and also be able to walk the beaches on hot days. You will always cycle as part of a team leaving at scheduled times. Moreover, you can use your free time to hop on the bike and explore the local area further. Volunteers will be given a bicycle safety briefing. Helmets and safety vests are required and provided. Cycling is only permitted during daylight hours.

Swimming and Snorkelling - As most afternoon volunteer activities involve you being in the sea, participants joining this program must be confident swimmers and have previous snorkelling experience in depths of up to 8 metres. Snorkel gear (mask/snorkel/fins) will be provided, but we encourage participants to bring their own correctly fitted masks. A wet suit is optional. During snorkel survey shifts, volunteers will snorkel within a pre-determined area and will be monitored by a safety supervisor on a paddleboard. The safety supervisor will accompany the research team throughout their in-water shift. All team members will wear a life jacket provided and will rest on land mid-shift before finishing the remaining shift in the sea. All snorkel shifts are weather-dependent and will be canceled if the sea conditions are deemed unsafe.

Volunteering with Friends - You are welcome to join the Greece marine and coastal conservation volunteer program with a friend. You can highlight this in the special requirements of the online application. Subsequently, our team can ensure you stay in the same accommodation and project location. Moreover, they will do their best to give you both the same free days each week. However, it is important to note that there is a large range of fieldwork covered each day. Consequently, it is not always possible for our team to place you with your friend in each fieldwork setting.

Days Off - Your project work in Greece runs 5 days a week. This project runs 7 days a week so volunteers are assigned different days off to ensure the project runs at all times. Therefore, it is likely that your days off will vary across the week and not necessarily be consecutive days off. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation on your days off. However, most participants will use this time to travel and explore the island. Check out our Greece Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your free days.

Typical day

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

As a volunteer in Greece on the marine and coastal conservation program, there is a range of conservation activities you will engage with. This is all focussed on protecting the seagrass meadows and sand dune habitats within the Skala region.

You will begin your conservation activities on the day after your arrival and orientation. Your first few days on the volunteer project will be full of hands-on learning. This will be under the guidance of experienced field assistants. You will quickly get acquainted with all aspects of the fieldwork.

Volunteers will be getting involved with hands-on research that will allow them to demonstrate standard scientific methodology that can be used in the field. Working with others during their time means they will be building on their teamwork and leadership skills. They will understand the importance of protecting the dune and Posidonia ecosystems around Kefalonia. In addition, will have a clearer understanding of current climate concerns and the impact these can have on both marine and terrestrial environments. This information learnt will allow them to pass on details to others and spread public awareness of current issues.

Volunteers will split the majority of their time between exploring the Posidonia meadows and understanding the extensive dune systems found. While surveying both of these areas volunteers will be looking into what lives within the systems, creating topographies, and understanding pressures both ecosystems face. In addition to this, volunteers will be working to keep the beaches of Kefalonia free from trash and debris, as well as taking part in drone surveys and reviewing the footage once the flight is complete.

Most mornings will involve an early start with sand dune habitat surveys, vegetation studies, species identification and beach litter collections typical morning activities. Your afternoon volunteering will largely consist of in-water Posidonia surveys at Skala beach. Specifically, capturing geotagged photos of seagrass meadows with data reviewed, collected and entered into the database. Other activities include assisting our drone pilot in surveying sand dunes and then reviewing the drone footage to identify threats and problems. Volunteers will also receive training sessions in utilising GPS systems, data entry and photo classifications.

There will be free time every day and most evenings where volunteers can relax or take part in various activities including film and quiz nights. There will be two days off per week. Volunteers will be expected to work around 6 hours each day across early morning and afternoon shifts.

Free-time activities

The conservation program runs daily from the start to the end of the sea turtle nesting season. As a result, participants volunteer five days per week to help with all the fieldwork activities required. You will have two days free to relax or travel further afield. In your free time, it is worth exploring the beauty of the island and the quaint towns that exist within it. As our volunteers will testify, the wider travel opportunities are extremely important to the whole experience and it is something we certainly recommend. Our local team is able to suggest activities, day trips and transportation but please note this is usually an independent experience outside of the core program.

Kefalonia’s prettiest village lies on the northeastern tip of the island. A 1953 earthquake caused great damage to the island, but somehow Fiskardo retained its 18th-century Venetian-style architecture. A picturesque harbour village, Fiscardo is famous for its seafood and popular with sailing crews. The journey from Argostoli to Fiscardo is filled with amazing views of Kefalonia’s rugged western coast as well as some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches.

Backed by steep limestone cliffs, Myrtos Beach is recognised as one of the most photographed beaches in all of Greece. Located in the region of Pylaros in the north-west of Kefalonia, the coastal beach is made up of clear white sand and turquoise water stretching 700 metres long. The view from the road above is spectacular with many viewpoints for tourists to enjoy. Take a break from the sand and sea and explore the nearby village of Divarata.

Home to an underground lake, Melissani Cave is definitely worth a visit. Located north of Sami, the lake became open to the public in 1963. Previously, the 40 metre wide underwater lake was once worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Swimming inside the cave is not possible, but you can enjoy a 15 minute boat ride around the lake. Enter the cave and climb aboard a rowing boat with an oarsman to guide you round. Sunlight will enter through the hole in the roof of the cave and create amazing shades of blue-coloured light on the cave walls.

With an elevation of 1,628 metres, Mount Ainos is the tallest mountain to be found on the island of Kefalonia. Covered with Greek fir and black pine, most of the mountain range is categorised as a National Park. More specifically, Mount Ainos is the only classified National Park on the island. There are plenty of great trails to embark on for the inner hiker inside you. On a clear day, the views from the top are incredible. You will be able to view other islands on the Ionian Sea in the distance.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 06:00 - 12:00

What's Included

Services by Plan My Gap Year

Your fee includes both your registration fee and programme fees.

  • Your programme fee includes; accommodation, airport pickup, in-country orientation, transport to projects, 24 hour in-country support.
  • Your registration fee includes; 24 hour UK based support, comprehensive volunteer handbook, live pre-departure webinars, 100% financial protection, regular programme inspection.

Airport Pickup at Kefallinia Airport

You should arrive into Kefalonia International Airport (airport code EFL) on the selected Thursday of your trip. Where possible, your flight should arrive into Kefalonia before 6pm so that you can partake in the evening orientation. 

Airport drop off is arranged on your final day of the program and included in the fee. 

Volunteer House

During your time on the Greece volunteer program, you will live in a Volunteer House in Kefalonia. This will be located a short walk from the popular seaside town of Skala. Specifically, volunteers will share an apartment in a large villa. It’s located on a plot of land full of fruit and olive trees, providing lots of shade and a pleasant outdoor barbecue area.

The Volunteer House is located under 2km from the main project sites on the Skala and Mounda beaches. Subsequently, use your free time to swim, sunbathe and relax on the beaches. On a similar note, the team will arrange a social evening at the houses once a week for volunteers to enjoy.

The Volunteer House is located a short journey away from Skala town. Skala is known for its many bakeries, tavernas and restaurants. It has a long, beautiful beach with water activity centers, beach volleyball, and is backed by many cafes and restaurants. There are several grocery stores, cash points, pharmacies, and fresh fruit markets as well. A perfect place for shopping and free-time activities. Mounda is known for its tranquility and natural setting that has excellent snorkeling and pristine waters. A lovely place to relax and bask in the Mediterranean sun.

It is usually a gentle walk or short cycle from the accommodation to the bustling town of Skala or the tranquility of Mounda beach. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way!

The accommodation is comfortable and clean, fitting up to 4 people per room in shared bedrooms with bunk beds. All accommodation comes equipped with electricity, a kitchenette, fridges, a small living area and hot water. The bathrooms are shared, each with a shower and western style toilet.

There is a washing machine available for when you complete volunteer work in Greece. It costs around 3 Euro per wash and washing lines are also provided. Fans are not provided, but the accommodation is usually cool enough where this is not an issue. In the same vein, Wi-Fi is not available at the accommodation. However, you can easily pick up a local SIM card or head to a local cafe to get online.

Field assistants will also live at the houses when you volunteer in Greece. This ensures you have round the clock support and security. You will either cycle or walk to and from your field work setting each day.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kefallinia Airport (EFL) in Kefallinia. We assist you to find cheap flights to Greece.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Greece provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Greece you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Greece.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

You should arrive into Kefalonia International Airport (airport code EFL) on the selected Thursday start date.  Where possible, your flight should arrive into Kefalonia before 6pm so that you can partake in the evening orientation. 

The accommodation is around a forty minute drive from the airport in the south of Kefalonia. If you cannot find a flight that lands before 6pm then we can still arrange your pickup, but you will miss a core part of the program in the evening orientation. As a result, you may consider arriving the day before and sourcing your own accommodation for the night.

Airport pick-up service and transport to the project are included in the program fees. 
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 5 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
5 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$505 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Marine and Coastal Conservation Supporter

Protect large seagrass meadows and sand dune systems on a meaningful conservation and research experience in Kefalonia.


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