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MARINE CONSERVATION PROGRAMS IN COSTA RICA 

OUR OCEAN CITIZEN SCIENCE PROGRAM IS UNIQUE TO COSTA RICA

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Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica

Costa Rica is considered one of the best places to participate in a marine conservation program. Join us and contribute to critical marine research and conservation projects ! 

 

In this marine citizen science program you will learn how to:

 

  • identify marine fish species

  • how to conduct fish surveys 

  • submit your data to an international database used by scientist all over the world. 

Monitoring changes in fish population assists scientist and local policy makers with improving conservation policies and marine park management.

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Why did I join ?

"Citizen science empowers individuals to contribute meaningfully to marine conservation"

Sarah Kingston
PADI Dive Master

Marine Conservation Guanacaste

Scuba divers have been called the eyes, ears and voices of the ocean. Following training, you will be able to contribute to the knowledge and conservation of the marine environment by monitoring changing populations.

At Rich Coast Diving we commit to sustainable diving practices and integrate marine conservation awareness in our daily activities. That’s why we are proud to be the first PADI Eco Dive center and Green Fins certified dive center in Costa Rica !  

 

As a PADI CDC center we train new PADI Dive Professionals to be defenders of the environment where they are working and to share this commitment to our guests and students. 

 

We are located in Playas del Coco, Province of Guanacaste, one of the best areas for scuba diving in Costa Rica, with a rich marine biodiversity and very accessible diving areas. Our program focusses in monitoring the health of the fish population in the area and it’s crucial for the management and conservation of our local marine habitats.

  • Why Rich Coast Diving ?
    Rich Coast Diving will help you begin your Dream Career as a PADI Professional. Our PRO Courses have been the starting point for hundreds of professionals from around the world. Rich Coast Diving takes pride in the quality and the professionalism of our teaching methods. But also the fun during our courses. Read testimonials of those who have been here recently.
  • How do I get There ?
    Rich Coast Diving is located in the small town of Playas del Coco. You can either fly to the capital of Costa Rica named San Jose (SJO Int'l Airport) and take a shuttle bus to Playas del Coco (5 hours). We can recommend the Interbus shuttle company. For bookings go to www.interbusonline.com Or you can fly to Liberia (Daniel Oduber Int'l Airport) which is less then 40 min from Playas del Coco and from this airport we can arrange your pickup ($50 USD one way).
  • Accomodation
    For our PRO Candidates we have several accomodation options. Contact us for prices and availability.
  • What do I need to Bring ?
    We highly recommend that you bring your own equipment. If you do not own your own set of equipment yet, you can buy your personal set at our dive shop at a discounted rate or rent it (for divemaster internship only). As a future PADI professional the following items are mandatory and you cannot start you course without them ! We do sell all items with a 20% discount for our PRO participants if you can not bring them from your home country. As per Instructor Manual you need a dive computer, DSMB, compass, knife / divers tool, sound device (wisle).
  • What is the best time of the Year ?
    Our location offers excellent year-round diving opportunities. Visibility changes from day to day so there is no better or worse season for visibility. Water temperature ranges from 23 – 28 Celsius throughout the year so a 3 - 5mm wetsuit is sufficient to keep you comfortably warm under water. Most dive sites are only 10 minutes away and accessible all year. In Costa Rica the seasons are divided between the rainy season (which runs from May to October) and the dry season (which runs November to April). But these seasons do not affect our diving conditions. So any time of the year is great to do your PRO course.
  • What is your cancellation policy ?
    You may cancel your reservation by written confirmation to info@richcoastdiving.com up to 14 days before the start of your PRO course and you will receive a full refund. But in case of cancellation with notification within 14 days prior to arrival, your deposit will not be fully refunded (50% of your activities and 100% of the accommodation). Ofcourse we do understand that unexpected circumstances may happen and we can reschedule your course for free up to 14 days before the starting date. However payments made for accommodation reservations will not be refunded.
  • Course Price & PADI / EFR Fees
    Becoming a PADI Pro is not cheap but definitely worth it and we want to make sure that you can plan your budget accordingly by understanding all the costs and fees. You find an overview of the prices and fees on our price list. Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions or concerns you have regarding the costs of the PRO Courses and additional PADI and EFR fees. In short: ​ First there is the cost of the course for the training we provide you to become a PADI Professional. The cost of the course will be paid directly to Rich Coast Diving. Besides the cost of the course there are additional "PADI fees" which will be paid by credit card at the end of the training directly to PADI. As a PADI professional you will have to pay PADI initially to apply to become a member, as well as pay annual membership fees to retain your teaching status with them. ​ For the IDC candidates there are the EFR instructor fees and EFR annual fees. ​ Since PADI and EFR fees change annually please contact us for the latest update on fees.
  • How do I pay ?
    We are flexible and offer different payment options for you comfort. Please contact us for the details. Please note that bank and transfer fees are to be paid by the customer. On arrival you can settle your final payments by credit card or payment in cash (USD/EUR/CRC).

Costa Rica is considered one of the best places to participate in a marine citizen science program for several reasons:

Highlights of Diving in Costa Rica

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Incredible Year-Round diving on Costa Rica´s best Dive sites

Dive with Manta Rays (Dec - Feb) and Bullsharks (Mar-Nov)

Work alongside our passionate dive professionals

Experience a unique diving frontier reserved exclusively for the adventurous divers

Try our Fish Quiz and test you Fish identification skills

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Working Abroad 
Marine Conservation Projects 

Dive the best dive sites in Costa Rica with tropical, fish, turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks while contributing to vital conservation efforts.

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Diving Adventures

Do your training on some of the worlds best and most biodiverse dive sites with rays, sharks, lots of tropical fish and sea turtles. 

Receive internationally recognized certifications for your training.

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Critical Science

Be part of our commitment to make a positive and constructive contribution to the protection and conservation of Costa Rica´s marine environments. 

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Ethical Involvement

Your training and surveys will contribute to the vital conservation research protecting the worlds most valuable ecosystems. 

MARINE PROGRAMS

Program Information

Rich Coast Diving offers 5 different Marine Conservation Programs related to fish monitoring. The programs are of different lengths and you can start any given day. You can even combine the Ocean Conservation Program with our Divemaster Program. That way you will become an ECO-Divemaster.

Choose your program below for details:

1 Week - Fish Monitoring Program - Level 1

2 Week - Fish Monitoring Program - Level 2 

4 Week - Fish Monitoring Program - Level 3

2 Week Add-On - Eco Divemaster 

2 weeks - Pufferfish Monitoring

2 weeks - Shark Monitoring 

In our marine citizen science programs you will:

Identify marine fish species

Conduct fish surveys

Submit your data to an international database used by scientist all over the world. 

Spend your days diving Costa Rica's best dive sites

How will I spend my days ?

The goal of our programs is to train you to collect scientific valid data that is used to strengthen (local) conservation efforts. Therefor you will be diving a lot, if not every day ! To make sure that the data you collect is of high quality.  We start with fish identification quizzes and exams.

 

Each program also includes presentations on fish biology and ecology, to give you a better understanding of the fish populations in our local environment. And after diving there is of course data entry.

 

It is a full day program but there is time in the schedule that allows you to go and explore the amazing nature and wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer. Have a look at the tours & activities that we offer !  Contact us directly for any of your questions at info@richcoastdiving.com.

What certifications do I receive ?

By joining any of our Marine conservation program you will receive several internationally recognized certifications (REEF surveyor, PADI and Green Fins). 

Marine Conservation Program 1 Week Costa Rica
Eagle Rays Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 2 weeks
Marine Conservation Program Costa rica
Pufferfish Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica
Shark COnservation Program Costa Rica
Eco Divemaster Program Costa Rica
1 week progam marine consevation costa rica

1 Week - Fish Monitoring Program - Level 1

Price
$ 899 USD

Incl. 13% VAT

Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 1 week
Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 1 week
Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 1 week

Included

  • 7 Days of training

  • REEF Novice Surveyor Level I

  • PADI Fish ID Specialty Certification

  • Green Fins Diver E-course

  • Materials and dive equipment 

  • 8 dives

  • Donation to PADI Aware

  • All taxes included.

Contact us directly for rates including accomodation.

 

Requirements:

  • Advanced Open Water Diver with 15 logged dives minimum

  • You will need to have your personal mask, snorkel, fins, dive computer, underwater slate and DSMB. Other dive equipment is included !

  • Not yet Advanced certified ? No problem, can train you up to the required level.

2 Weeks - Fish Monitoring Program - Level 2

2-week-progam-marine-conservation-costa-rica

Price
$ 1645 USD

Incl. 13% VAT

Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 2 weeks
Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 2 weeks
Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 2 weeks

Included

  • 14 Days of training

  • REEF Beginner Surveyor Level II

  • PADI Fish ID Specialty Certification

  • PADI Dive Against Debris Specialty Certification

  • Green Fins Diver E-course

  • Materials and dive equipment 

  • 16 dives

  • Donation to PADI Aware

  • All taxes included

Contact us directly for rates including accomodation.

 

Requirements:

  • AOW diver with 15 logged dive minimum

  • You will need to have your personal mask, snorkel, fins, dive computer, underwater slate and DSMB. Other dive equipment is included !

  • Not yet Advanced certified ? No problem, can train you up to the required level.

4 Weeks - Fish Monitoring Program - Level 3

4-week-progam-marine-conservation-costa-rica

Price
$ 2945 USD

Incl. 13% VAT

Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 4 weeks
Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 4 weeks
Marine Conservation Program Costa Rica 4 weeks

Included

  • 28 Days of Training

  • PADI Fish ID Specialty Certification

  • PADI Dive Against Debris Specialty Certification

  • 2 other PADI marine conservation specialties (Shark Aware, Turtle Awareness, Manta Awareness or Coral Reef conservation)

  • Green Fins Diver E-course

  • Materials and dive equipment 

  • Minimum 32 dives

  • REEF Advanced Surveyor Level

  • Donation to PADI Aware

  • All taxes included

Contact us directly for rates including accomodation.

 

Requirements:

  • AOW diver with 15 logged dive minimum

  • You will need to have your personal mask, snorkel, fins, dive computer, underwater slate and DSMB. Other dive equipment is included !

  • Not yet Advanced certified ? No problem, can train you up to the required level.

Pufferfish Monitoring Program  (2 Weeks)

Pufferfish-progam-marine-conservation-costa-rica

Price
$ 1645 USD

Incl. 13% VAT

Pufferfish Marine Conservation Costa Rica
Pufferfish Marine Conservation Costa Rica
Pufferfish Marine Conservation Costa Rica

Included

  • 14 Days of training

  • PADI Fish ID Specialty Certification

  • PADI Pufferfish Research Diver Specialty Certification

  • Green Fins Diver E-course

  • Materials and dive equipment 

  • Minimum 16 dives

  • REEF Beginner Surveyor Level

  • Donation to PADI Aware

  • All taxes included

Contact us directly for rates including accomodation.

Requirements:

  • AOW diver with 15 logged dive minimum

  • You will need to have your personal mask, snorkel, fins, dive computer, underwater slate and DSMB.

Shark Monitoring Program  (2 Weeks)

Price
$ 1645 USD

Incl. 13% VAT

Shark Marine Conservation Costa Rica
Shark Marine Conservation Costa Rica
Shark Marine Conservation Costa Rica
Shark-progam-marine-conservation-costa-rica

Included

  • 14 Days of training

  • PADI Fish ID Specialty Certification

  • PADI Shark Aware Specialty Certification

  • Green Fins Diver E-course

  • Materials and dive equipment

  • Minimum 16 dives

  • REEF Beginner Surveyor Level

  • Donation to PADI Aware

  • All taxes included

Contact us directly for rates including accomodation.

Requirements:

  • AOW diver with 15 logged dive minimum

  • You will need to have your personal mask, snorkel, fins, dive computer, underwater slate and DSMB.

ECO Divemaster Add-On

Eco Dvemaster program Costa Rica

Price
$ 1100 USD

Incl. 13% VAT

Eco Divemaster Costa Rica
Eco Divemaster Costa Rica
Eco Divemaster Costa Rica

Included

This program is offered as an ADD-on to our Divemaster program.

  • 14 Days of training

  • PADI Fish ID Specialty Certification

  • Green Fins Dive Guide E-course

  • PADI Dive Against Debris Specialty Certification

  • REEF Beginner Surveyor Level

  • Survey Dives

  • Donation to PADI Aware

  • All taxes inlcuded.

Requirements:

  • This Program is offered as add-on to our 4 week and 8 week or integrated in the 12 week Divemaster Program.

Eagle Rays Costa Rica Guanacaste

What our participants say 

"I loved it so much here that what started as a two week trip has turned into a 3 month Eco Divemaster Internship !"

Michel Blok
PADI Dive Master

Frequently asked questions about Marine Conservation in Costa Rica

What is Marine Conservation

Marine conservation is the dedicated effort to protect and preserve the diverse ecosystems and species found in our oceans, seas, and coastal areas. It's a crucial endeavor aimed at maintaining the health and balance of these intricate environments. 

 

This conservation work involves a combination of scientific research, policy development, and public awareness campaigns. Scientists study marine life, habitats, and the impact of human activities on these systems. Policymakers enact regulations to control pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction, while also creating protected marine areas. 

 

At the heart of marine conservation is the understanding that our oceans play a vital role in regulating climate, providing food, and supporting biodiversity. By safeguarding marine ecosystems, we can ensure the sustainability of fisheries, protect endangered species, and mitigate the effects of climate change. Ultimately, marine conservation aims to strike a harmonious balance between human activities and the natural wonders of our seas, ensuring they thrive for future generations.

Marine Conservation Volunteer 

As you plan your next holiday or gap year, consider the incredible opportunity to combine your passion for diving with the vital mission of marine conservation. By doing so, you'll not only create lasting memories but also contribute to the preservation of the underwater world for generations to come. It's a win-win: a fulfilling adventure that leaves a positive mark on the oceans we hold so dear. There are several options for marine conservation programs all around the world. Either paid or as volunteer. We highly recommend you find a program that suits your interest and budget. And compared to most other programs with Rich Coast Diving you receive internationally recognised certifications which are valuable for your college credits or CV.

 

Costa Rica offer world class diving from the vibrant colors of tropical fish to the majestic dance of a manta ray. However, it's essential to recognise the pressing need for conservation of Costa Rica´s rich marine life.

 

Imagine starting your day not just fun diving the beautiful dive sites of Playas del Coco but engage in hands-on conservation efforts with our passionate staff. Learn about fish species, their behaviour and collect data crucial for conservation efforts. We also organise ocean and beach cleanup, removing plastic debris that poses a threat to marine creatures. These activities not only directly contribute to the health of the ocean but also provide a deeper connection to the environment you've come to love.

 

One of the significant advantages of this combination is the education it offers. Our Marine conservation projects include informative sessions on marine biology, ecological challenges, and the importance of sustainable practices. As a diver you become more than a tourist; you become a citizen scientist and advocate for marine protection. Armed with knowledge and a personal connection to the underwater world, you are equipped to raise awareness and inspire others to join the cause. As the first PADI Eco certified dive center in Costa Rica and Green Fins certified we strive to do better every day. Read more about what it means to be a PADI ECO dive center HERE.

 

Furthermore, the data collected during our conservation programs is validated by REEF.org and entered into an open source database and contributes to scientific research and policy-making. Your participation in activities like fish population monitoring and ocean cleanups directly contributes to the broader understanding of marine ecosystems, helping scientists make informed decisions for their protection.

 

Sign up for one of our conservation programs and become an eco warrior in Costa Rica !

Our Ocean Conservation Partners

Here in Costa Rica we work together with important conservation partners to strengthen our conservation efforts. Our conservation programs are Internationally recognised and developed by scientist from REEF. 

We also work together with the SeaChange Agency with Green Fins and PADI Project AWARE.

About REEF

Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) protects marine life through education, service, and research. REEF facilitates programs that actively engage divers, snorkelers, and other marine enthusiasts in marine conservation. This is primarily accomplished through the Volunteer Fish Survey Project. Since its launch in 1993, this citizen science program has generated one of the largest marine life databases in the world.

 

In 2020, the database surpassed 250,000 surveys conducted at almost 15,000 sites throughout the world’s oceans by over 16,000 volunteer divers and snorkelers worldwide. With knowledge, training, and the opportunity to get involved, these marine citizen scientists make significant and ongoing contributions. REEF provides varied training opportunities to encourage wide participation, and has a comprehensive experience-rating system and QA/QC checks for data submission to ensure high quality data. 

 

The survey methodology was developed with support from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and guidance by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The project allows volunteer SCUBA divers and snorkelers to collect and report information on marine fish populations as well as selected invertebrate and algae species in temperate areas. The data are collected using a fun and easy standardized method, and are housed in a publicly-accessible database on REEF's Website. These data are used by a variety of resource agencies and researchers.

Marine Conservation Jobs

Here at Rich Coast Diving we are passionate about helping people starting a career in scuba diving. And as a PADI 5 star CDC we have been doing that successfully for over 30 years. But which jobs are there for scuba divers in marine conservation ?

Marine conservation jobs for scuba divers provide a unique opportunity to combine a passion for the underwater world with a commitment to preserving and protecting our oceans. As guardians of this fragile ecosystem, scuba divers play a crucial role in understanding and safeguarding marine life and habitats.

 

One of the most fulfilling roles for scuba divers in marine conservation is that of a marine biologist. Diving into the depths, these professionals conduct research to assess the health of coral reefs, study marine species, and monitor the impacts of climate change and human activities. They gather vital data that informs conservation strategies and helps mitigate the threats faced by our oceans.

 

Another essential role is that of a marine conservation educator. Divers with strong communication skills can inspire others by sharing their passion for marine life and conservation. They conduct educational programs, lead guided dives, and raise awareness about the importance of sustainable practices. By spreading knowledge, they empower individuals to make a positive impact on the marine environment. Our PADI dive instructors are experts about our local marine environment and are involved in our conservation efforts and are teaching marine conservation courses. So becoming a PADI dive instructor is a great way of being involved in Marine Conservation.

 

Underwater photographers and videographers also contribute significantly to marine conservation efforts. Their stunning visuals capture the beauty of marine ecosystems, making it easier to engage and educate the public. These visual storytellers raise awareness about the challenges faced by our oceans and inspire people to take action.

 

In addition to these roles, scuba divers can become involved in marine protected area management, working with local communities and governments to enforce regulations and ensure the long-term viability of these critical zones.

 

The demand for marine conservation jobs for scuba divers is growing, driven by the increasing recognition of the importance of our oceans and the need for sustainable practices. As a scuba diver with a passion for the marine environment, there are numerous avenues to make a meaningful contribution, whether through scientific research, education, advocacy, or hands-on conservation efforts. By dedicating their skills and enthusiasm, scuba divers can be catalysts for positive change and help secure a brighter future for our oceans.

You fist step starts with Rich Coast Diving. Contact us for more information about joining one of our marine conservation programs.

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