“The stay with such an loveley
Costa Rican family made our time
with Widecast unforgetable”
“We spent about one month with the Osa In-Water Project at the beautiful beach Playa Blanca and with the wonderful guest family Fletes in La Palma. Our home was only three kilometers away from the sea and we enjoyed our bike ride every morning to the workplace at the beach. To experience this amazing nature around us and to work with the fascinating sea turtles is a privilege. The stay with such an loveley Costa Rican family made our time with Widecast unforgetable.“
Anna & Georg, Germany, (August 2013)
At our Osa in-water project you have the unique opportunity to get hands on experience with scientific research. Based in the sleepy village of Playa Blanca, inside the Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, this project gives you the chance to not just help with our in-water turtle studies but to immerse yourself in the true Costa Rican experience.
Researching population demographics and ecology of the endangered eastern pacific green and the critically endangered eastern pacific hawksbill turtles, you help our vital research having real life implications on the conservation of these amazing animals.
The surroundings are of spectacular natural beauty. Named one of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, you will have the once in a life time opportunity to spot an incredible array of different plant and animal species. With habitats ranging from tropical rainforest, estuarine environments, mangrove forests, coral reef to tropical beaches, the area boasts more than 40 different fish species, different dolphins and whale species, migratory birds, scarlet macaws, four species of monkey, sloths and of course the majestic sea turtles. Volunteering at the Osa in-water project truly is a once in a life time experience.
A monitoring trip takes 7 hours; you will leave early in the morning and return after lunch time. Volunteers help with the preparation of boat equipment, adequate maintenance of the turtle net and will follow the instructions by the staff during their stay on the boat. You will be needed for checking the net in the water, getting the turtles out of the water and ensuring that the turtles stay calm while on board. Additionally you will assist in taking important data and samples from the animals. After an in-water trip, there is still maintenance work to do on the net and equipment so the next trip can be prepared and carried out smoothly. Sometimes we are busy like working with 25 turtles in 7 hours.
When we receive or find a injury turtle to treat at our center, you will be involved in the daily care for sea turtles, which includes feeding, water change and cleaning tanks, as well as assisting our staff in taking and recording data. Our facilities are rustic, however, they follow international standards and our protocols are based on them too. Our goal is to proceed to enhance the existing facilities and built a hospital area to improve veterinarian treatment for the sea turtles. This a great opportunity to future biologist, marine ecologists, veterinarians or environment enthusiasts because is direct involvement on sea turtle care.
Reforestation activities involve the collection of seeds in the mangrove forest of the Gulf, preparation of mud boxes, transplanting the seeds in germination bags, watering the propagules, transport the small trees to the reforestation area, planting the small trees in areas where mangroves are declining and finally you will join field trips to look out for new areas of mangroves and to get seeds again. The work can be dirty but really great, so old clothes are necessary to bring with you, as you will work exposed to the sun often, so don’t forget your sun cream, hat and water bottle.
You will work in couples by transepts and squares of a marked area near shore to count sea grass leaves for biomass monitoring, and every three months we remove seagrass of the monitoring quadrants to estimate the regeneration of the sea grass bed. Sea grasses have a lot of important characteristics for coastal marine ecosystems and sea turtles, they are important source of food for green turtle, also this benthic ecosystem process huge amounts of carbon fixed releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, while a hectare of seagrass processes the carbon released by a car on a journey of 2,500 km so it is very important to get to know them better since there is no existing data of them in the Golfo Dulce. Be part of the process to collect first scientific data of sea grasses in the Golfo Dulce, get to know the work depending on tides and dynamic coastal ecosystems.