On this environmental conservation mission through ecotourism in Greece, we study the underwater meadows and sand dunes of southeastern Kefalonia. Our focus is on the coastal and shoreline area of the Mounda Peninsula. Underwater meadows serve as important carbon sinks and play a crucial role in combating climate change. They form a vital ecosystem, providing habitats and breeding grounds for numerous marine animals and organisms. Sand dunes and their vegetation serve as a dynamic barrier between the sea and land, representing a specialized ecosystem that is impacted by development and accelerated erosion.
Coastal and marine study areas are regularly mapped using drones. Volunteers participating in ecotourism in Greece do not need to have drone skills but will have the opportunity to learn about the use of drones for environmental science. Aerial surveys over the sea help locate the underwater meadows and plan snorkeling expeditions.
On the shoreline, sand dunes are studied using drones to create topographic and three-dimensional maps, enabling ecosystem analysis and monitoring changes over time. Diving teams study the coastal zone to capture geolocated photographs of the underwater meadows. These images are then analyzed to identify species, types of seagrass, their current condition, and changes over time.
Coastal sand dunes are mapped and studied through beach profile surveys and species identification. The current state of the dunes and their evolution over time are examined. The presence of plastics and other harmful factors in the marine and coastal ecosystem is recorded, and some teams focus on collecting this waste for recycling or disposal.
Volunteers contribute their time and skills to help collect vital data and support essential marine conservation work, as well as to understand how marine ecosystems are affected by direct human activities and climate change. The data collected as part of this ecotourism project in Greece will contribute to one of the most detailed datasets on coastal and marine ecosystems in the region.
Volunteers will share an apartment in a large villa. It is located on a plot of land with fruit trees and olive trees, providing plenty of shade and a pleasant outdoor barbecue area. Each room can accommodate up to 4 people (mixed gender) and has a shared bathroom, a kitchenette, and a small living room. The accommodation is perfectly situated between the two main monitored areas. The lively town beach of Skala is a 2.3 km walk away, and the tranquility of Mounda Beach is a 1.5 km walk away.
Skala is known for its numerous bakeries, taverns, and restaurants. It has a long and beautiful beach with water sports facilities, beach volleyball, and is lined with restaurants and beach bars. There are also several grocery stores, ATMs, pharmacies, and fresh fruit markets.
A perfect place for shopping and leisure activities. Mounda is known for its tranquility and natural setting, offering excellent snorkeling opportunities and pristine waters. An ideal place to relax and bask in the Mediterranean sun.
All volunteers are trained in protocols and techniques to ensure the quality of data collection.
Volunteers should be able to ride bicycles to different locations with their team and walk along the beach for field surveys.
Volunteers should be comfortable in a community living environment with shared responsibilities.
Volunteers must be strong swimmers and have previous snorkeling experience at depths of up to 8 meters. Volunteers must be 18 years or older, comfortable cycling on hilly terrain, and able to walk or cycle during a hot day. All volunteers must have travel/medical insurance. We strongly encourage volunteers to bring their own properly fitted snorkel masks.