The volunteering for the Marine Branch of the Save Koh Tao group is generally only for local people or people working or diving with a local dive school. Projects are not every day, but when there are projects everybody is welcome to join free of charge (the projects generally require little to no training ie. Clean-ups, tree planting, building artificial reefs on land, turtle releases, etc). So if you are coming to do something else like diving or relaxing than this is something you could be involved in as projects occur a few days a month. The best way to get in involved is to talk with a participating dive school or a Save Koh Tao Representative after arriving on the island to get the most up-to-date schedule. You can also come to our meetings on the 5th of every month, 7pm at the MOOV Bar, or check out the links below.
If you are interested in doing more intensive training and work here, there are several marine ecology/conservation training programs on the island. As you learn with the dive schools you also act as a volunteer for Save Koh Tao and contribute to our on-going projects.
A current list of programs is included below:
Eco Ban’s Diving
(Info not available)
Big Blue Conservation
The main objective of Big Blue Conservation is to do as much as we can to ensure that the island remains undisturbed by the growing tourism and that the marine life is here in Koh Tao for future generations to enjoy. As well as working closely with Save Koh Tao on larger projects such as Buoyancy World and Bio Rock, we are implementing a range of smaller projects such as coral nurseries and a constructed wetland to help clean the islands grey water.
Big Blue is focused on conserving the astonishing abundance of life Koh Tao's reefs have to offer, as well as contributing to global research studying the impact of climate change on this beautiful environment. There is hope for the oceans but we must act now. The hope lies in the dedication of people like us at Big Blue to make a difference and give something back to the world we know and love. So come and join in!
Eco Koh Tao specializes in preparing and instructing divers and dive professionals emphasizing the eco-diving aspects of marine conservation. By providing educational expertise in marine ecology & ecosystems Eco Koh Tao promotes employment opportunities for professional aspirants through intensive programs and our Eco-Diving Internships.
Eco Koh Tao provides training in the Reef Check Eco-Monitoring methodology in conjunction with our own locally endorsed Koh Tao EMP (Ecological Monitoring Program) Surveys. Our eco-focused PADI courses include Marine Resource Management, Project Aware and the Coralwatch Distinctive Specialty just to name a few. For more info see www.ecokohtao.com or email
Learning to co-exist with the natural world around us is our philosophy. While diving with Koh Exist, you will learn and apply all the things you can do to make a difference. We hope that this will help to spread awareness to everyone around us. Koh Exist offers 1 to 5 day certified courses covering a wide range of areas, involving fun activities catered to all levels (from snorkelers to diving professionals). Courses are available in English and French.
New Heaven Reef Conservation Program
The New Heaven RCP an intensive course in marine and coral reef ecology, research, and restoration that was designed for Certified SCUBA Divers or University students. The program is designed to accommodate every level of student, from those just trying something new to PhD students doing thesis work.
Depending on the time of year, projects range from reef surveys, coral nurseries, giant clam nurseries, water testing, mooring buoy installation, sea turtle releases/head starting programs, tree/grass planting, working on a Biorock© Structure, and much more. Courses run from 2-4 weeks, and we can start on any Monday (Internships up to 6 months also available). Participants of the course have the option of receiving many different internationally recognized certifications including Reef Check, SSI ECOlogical, and SSI or PADI Ecological Monitoring Program Certifications. For more info contact Dev at
or Chad at
or see our website:
For Locals and Island Residents
We can always use more on island and local volunteers to help out with the environmental and social projects being undertaken on the island. We can provide all of the training and materials you will need, and help you to find accommodation on the island if you need it. The position will be given to those showing the most interest, and those staying on the island the longest will be given preference. If you are interested or want more information contact us at
BiorockPhoto Journal -Assemble a historical timeline of the 2 Biorock structures using photos taken over the last 2 years. Set up photo tripod points at the structures so that future pictures are taken of the same corals from the same aspects. Anybody on the island with an underwater camera can assist with this project on their own by doing a dive at the Hin Fai site or snorkeling on the Taa Chaa Biorock. Contact us for more information about how to take/code the pictures.
EMPData Collection - (divers only) Each month we conduct reef surveys in 8 of the bays around the island, if you are SSI or PADI certified in the Koh Tao Ecological Monitoring Program or Reef Check International you may participate in these surveys. Currently, the certification courses can be taken at Crystal Dive Resort, New Heaven Dive School, and Scuba Junction.
Water Sampling and Testing - We need both divers and none divers to take regular water samples from bays around the island and freshwater streams in the main villages. After sampling the water this volunteer will be responsible for either sending the samples to Chumporn or testing them here on the island.
Data Entry - Data entry can be done on your own time, and in any location with a computer. The volunteer will be responsible for entering observation data into excel spreadsheets. You don’t need to be a computer expert, we can teach you how to us the program.
Photodocumentation-We are trying to compile a timeline ofthe changes which have occured on Koh Tao through photographs. If you have any photographs of koh tao that are more than a few years old from the land or underwater we would really like a copy so that we can go out and take the same picture for comparison. Please include the approximate date and location of the photo.
Every Thursday members of Save Koh Tao meet at the Resivior site around 9:30 am to plant grasses, tress, or work on the check dams. We can always use more hands and good help. You don't need to sign up, just show up in the morning or contact me before hand if you need a taxi up there. Check Dams - We need a team of people to regularly maintain the check dams constructed under the reservoir in Tanote. This team will be responsible for mapping the dams, taking pictures, documenting changes, and constructing new dams when necessary.
Photo Journal - In order to monitor the damage done by the resiviors construction and prevent similar problems ion the future we need documentation as to the changes in the area of time. You would be resposibvle for organizing existing photos into a coherent document and colleting new photos after each rain storm.
Grass/Tree Nursery - This position is for somebody who will be on Koh Tao for at least 1 year and be able to manage volunteers and construct a nursery area for vetiver grass and trees which can be moved to the Tanote Reservoir site.
Tourist surveysTo better understand the tourists and locals here on Koh Tao we administer short visitor surveys. The leader and volunteer team taking this project would need to administer the surveys at events or around the island villages and process the results.
Beach/underwater clean-upsDaily beach clean-ups with The Secret Garden and monthly underwater clean-ups with Save Koh Tao are one of the quickest ways to improve the beauty of the island. We need as many volunteers as possible to assist with these activities, and also people with strong leadership capabilities to manage the events.
We will be pouring the concrete for the mooring buoy anchors on the 22nd of May. Then the following week we will be putting them down and consructing the mooring lines. If you would like to help out you can contact one of the following dive schools that are assisting with this project:
- Big Blue
- New Heaven
- New Way
Kids Swimming Program On Saturdays and Sundays Kwan from Black Tip Dive School leads a kids swimming program, promoting safety and marine education as well as providing local kids access to jobs in the diving industry. More instrucotrs are always need to supervise and assist with the swimming classes. Don't worry if you can't speak Thai, most the kids can speak a bit of English.
This position would require proficiency in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or an alternative design program. The volunteer would be responsible for developing attractive and informative posters, flyers, and newsletter to inform the local community about projects and fundraising events.
Marketing and promotions
Local SchoolSchool Fundraising
Help set up donation boxes and marketing to raise money for the local school on Koh Tao so that the students may have more books, teachers, and alternate activities.