A brand new conservation project designed to protect the native flora and fauna of a small island off the coast of Southern California is seeking volunteers to help with its work programme this summer and autumn. The Eco USA project is open to British and Irish residents aged 18 to 50, exclusively through BUNAC, the specialist in overseas work placements.
Perfect work experience for students or for anyone with a special interest in geography, biology, botany and conservation, this 11 or 18-day trip is ideal as part of a longer visit to North America. It is also possible to combine two or more sessions.
The Eco USA project is based on Catalina Island, which is home to more than 60 plant, animal and insect species that are found nowhere else in the world. Volunteers will help with trail maintenance, building and repairing fences, and protecting native plant life and local endangered species.
Catalina, which measures just 21 miles by eight miles, receives more than one million visitors each year, so the main aim of the project is to maintain the island’s unique and wonderful eco system while providing access to visitors.
Time off may be spent visiting the island’s beautiful beaches, hiking its walking trails, enjoying its many water sports, visiting the capital of Avalon or even going to Los Angeles, just an hour’s ferry ride away.
Accommodation is on one of two campsites on Catalina Island, one beach side, one inland, with shared, semi-permanent tent cabins and hot showers. Food is provided throughout and meals will either be cooked for volunteers or prepared on a rota.
The price of £595 per project includes all accommodation and meals, personalised support, travel advice and flight booking service, plus an orientation session on arrival. It also includes a Lonely Planet Guide to California, BUNAC benefits, discounts, handbook and t-shirt.
There is a discount for participating in a second or third project, with two projects costing £1115 and three projects £1565.
Departure dates are July 9th, August 20th, September 3rd and 17th and October 1st for 11-day projects and July 23rd for the 18-day project. Spaces are limited and applications close approximately four weeks before each departure date, so early application is recommended.
Volunteers don’t need formal work experience, however a sense of adventure, a desire to make a difference and a willingness to remain flexible and positive throughout are all recommended, to gain the most from this special project.