Travel and Volunteer with Loggerhead's Marine life Centre
See the world, save sea turtles with Loggerhead Marinelife Center
What if traveling meant more than just experiencing a gorgeous vista? What if it meant giving back to our world that already gives us so much? Traveling is one thing, but traveling with a globally-minded mission is another.
That’s where Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s SWIM (Serving the World’s Imperiled Marine life) Eco-tour Destinations come in – offering that opportunity for anyone with a passion for travel and conservation.
SWIM offers participants the unique opportunity to explore a beautiful ecosystem and local culture while assisting local organizations in daily conservation efforts like marine animal research/rescue and mangrove restoration. The trips make travel look (and do) good for our planet.
“I remember calling my best friend after learning about SWIM. She said, ‘why aren’t you booking this already? This trip was made for you,’” said Stephanie Smith, a SWIM participant on last year’s Nicaragua trip. “One of my favourite experiences while in Nicaragua was releasing the rehabilitated sea turtle hatchlings and watch them crawl back into the ocean. It was such an amazing feeling.”
What you’ll do
2018 destinations include Maui, Hawaii ($2,099/person based on double occupancy; June 24-30,) where guests will participate in sea turtle research and rescue and debris removal with Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute biologists. They’ll also enjoy snorkel excursions, surf lessons and more. The other destination is Padre Ramos, Nicaragua ($1,299/person based on double occupancy; Aug. 12-18.) There, guests will assist local biologists with in-water hawksbill turtle monitoring, mangrove restoration and kayak trips.
“The SWIM program helps people view conservation on a much more realistic and applicable perspective,” said Hannah Campbell, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s environmental programs manager. “Oftentimes, people think large-scale positive changes can happen overnight. This is simply not the case. We have found that participants truly gain a better understanding of how small changes can add up to become that big change and that everyone can make an impact.”
Proceeds from SWIM programs go directly to the host conservation organization to help fund critical research, rehabilitation and education efforts. So, it keeps participants’ support within the local community and further upholds sustainable travel practices.
Making a difference
“My favorite part of the SWIM program is watching participants take an active role in conservation, instead of watching it happen,” said Campbell. “One of the reasons we started SWIM at Loggerhead Marinelife Center is because there was such a demand for opportunities for people to get involved. We believe this is the answer.”
Stephanie Smith, who made lifelong memories, friends and impact during Padre Ramos, Nicaragua SWIM trip last year, agrees.
“I want to make sure every time I go somewhere, I’m not only getting a little bit of relaxation but also making an impact,” said Smith. “With these programs, you know you’re changing the world. Plus, you’re experiencing a completely different environment and really getting that hands-on experience.”
For more information about SWIM programs and for pricing details, visit marinelife.org/SWIM.
All activities included in SWIM tours are conducted responsibly and abide by the best practices for viewing, handling and interacting with wildlife. SWIM guides are trained biologists that offer a unique and in-depth look at some of the world’s most fascinating ecosystems.
About Loggerhead Marinelife Center:
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a nonprofit sea turtle hospital that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site campus hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. In late 2017, the Center launched their Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more information, visit marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.
A Chicago native, Hannah Deadman always had a love for writing and the environment, and moved to South Florida in 2013 to study and later pursue her career. She currently serves as Loggerhead Marinelife center's public relations & communications coordinator, where she manages the center's local, national and global media relations, securing coverage for the Center in outlets including Conde Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, The Palm Beach Post, The Sun Sentinel and more.