In Feburary, I volunteered with Earthwatch as part of their turtle tagging programme in the Bahamas.
Did you know that turtles have been around for the past 100 million years, but yet very little data has been gathered on them? By tracking turtle growth rates, feeding and migration patterns, we are better able to understand them and raise awareness for turtle conservation.
Every morning, I would head out with the Earthwatch team to catch turtles by snorkelling (where my freediving training came in handy!), taking measurements and samples, before releasing them back into the ocean. At night, I would return to Cape Eleuthera Institute/Island School (a sustainable, zero waste campus) to conduct lab work or learn from talks by research scientists.
This was an amazing, unforgettable experience, that I would recommend to everyone! As freedivers, we are inherently drawn to protecting the place which has given us solace, food and a home. Contributing through citizen science is one of the best things we can do in gratitude.