Travel Tips

Voluntourism Spotlight: Help Save Endangered Sea Turtles


If you’re planning a trip to South Carolina sometime soon, consider donating your time to a charity. One program on Hilton Head Island lets kids and adults volunteer to help sea turtles, which are on the endangered animals list. Check out the voluntourism program below, and remember to tune in to Peter Greenberg Worldwide this weekend for more information. Plus, don’t forget to check out our archive for all kinds of voluntourism opportunities.

Founded in 1985, the Coastal Discovery Museum has provided hands-on educational programs for the residents and visitors of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The museum has grown since its inception, having expanded to a sister facility in Honey Horn, a town on Hilton Head Island.

One of the museum’s biggest missions is overseeing the Sea Turtle Protection Project. The loggerhead sea turtle is a federally threatened, globally endangered species. Each year, loggerhead sea turtles return to the beaches of Hilton Head to nest between the months of May and August. This process is monitored by the museum, and staff members are assigned daily tasks during the sea turtle’s mating season, which is from May to December.

By monitoring turtle nesting and hatching activity, conservationists can work to decrease negative human and predator impacts, and help grow the current population. Visitors can learn more about the turtles by volunteering with the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island.

Popular short-term volunteer projects include marsh clean up, beach sweeping and beach clean up, and grounds work at the museum’s facility. One of the best parts about volunteering at the Coastal Discovery Museum is that children are welcome and encouraged to participate. This volunteer experience can be shared with the whole family.

The most important time to help is from May to December, but volunteers are welcome year round. It only takes a few hours and no experience is required. Those with more time to spare can go through training to help care for the museum’s two marsh tacky horses or become a program docent. For more information, click here.

Want to learn about more voluntourism opportunities? Check out:

By Tina Nole with Darra Stone for