What We Do
In 2000, Ocean Spirits implemented a 5 year research study in the north east of Grenada with the aim of evaluating the current status of this leatherback sea turtle nesting population. While sporadic studies in previous years had identified nesting activity in Grenada, data collected by Ocean Spirits since 2000 has shown that the nesting site found at Levera beach alone is home to one of the top 5 populations of nesting leatherbacks in the region. Results from this initial study also revealed high levels of illegal egg poaching, which exceeded 90 at some sites. Ocean Spirits is actively tackling this issue and has considerably reduced this threat...(read more)
At Ocean Spirits we believe that any research initiative that seeks to promote change in the way a resource is utilised must have a complimentary educational component that brings to the forefront understanding and awareness of the issues being addressed. The foundation of Ocean Spirits' work is education. Without developing public understanding and awareness, the findings of our research efforts would be worthless in terms of addressing traditional perceptions of a natural resource. To date over 7,000 students ranging from pre-schools to University students have been reached through our educational programs. Each season Ocean Spirits host week long...(read more)
Communities throughout Grenada have historically relied upon turtles as a source of food and income. Coupled with the consumptive use of adults and despite legislation to protect them, turtle eggs continue to be harvested from nesting sites to be sold and distributed throughout the family structure. As all species of turtle become increasingly threatened, Ocean Spirits is working with local communities to utilise this natural resource through means other than consumptive use. One way to achieve this is to demonstrate that the financial value of a nesting turtle is substantially higher than that of its dead counterpart. Through the development...(read more)
Kate Charles, is a marine biologist with a passion for sea turtles. First joined the project in 2010. She is responsible for the running of the project and is also the education and outreach Coordinator. She is a keen diver and snorkeler and always looking for eager dive buddies to explore Grenada’s water. Famous for her pancake breakfast treats
Kester Charles "Sugar"
Kester Charles (also known as Sugar) has been with the project since 2003 when he successfully completed the turtle watching guide training course and decided he wanted more hands on work. He has remained a key member of the team ever since and co-ordinates day to day life on the project. To add to his skills, Kester is one of the best chefs the project has had!
Clifford Hypolite "Praggi"
Field Research Supervisor
Clifford (but everyone calls him "Praggi") is a lifeguard and fisherman from River Sallee who has worked with the project since 2004. He is a prolific free diver and an expert on everything we do on the beach. Most years, Praggi works more nights than anybody else on Levera, so if you can keep up with him you get a gold star!
Field Research Supervisor
Kimron (or "Gatti") trained as a turtle watching guide initially, but soon showed his preference for working with the research teams. Kimron work as a sports teacher within the communities in his spare time, and as a player with the Grenada football team.
Field Research Supervisor
Steve (also known as Tiger) originally joined the project as a diver on the hawksbill programme, but is now seen just as often on Levera. Another fisherman, his discussions with Praggi about the off-shore island currents and where to best catch turtles for tagging can go on for days!
Dr Clare Morrall
Dr. Clare Morrall is a Professor in the Department of Biology, Ecology and Conservation in the School of Arts and Sciences, at St. George’s University, Grenada. Dr. Morrall has run and assisted a wide range of shore and ship based research projects in the Caribbean over the past twenty years. Dr. Morrall keenly supports a range of environmental initiatives in the Caribbean. Dr. Morrall is a keen swimmer and a competitive J24 sailor.
Emma Doyle, a marine protected areas specialist who focuses on the Wider Caribbean region. She has 15 years’ experience working in environmental management in Latin America and the Caribbean, including some 70 international cooperation projects across a range of themes related to biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, climate change, outreach and education, and coastal tourism.
A long, long time ago Carl setup the monitoring and research work at Levera by Ocean Spirits. But these days he leads a more sedentary life in the hills of North Wales supporting the project from afar. Cocooned away from Society, he now lives a frugal and quiet life, ever hopeful he will encounter the same leatherbacks he met in Grenada dining out on the finest jellyfish the Irish Sea has to offer.
Volunteer With Us
Your first night with Ocean Spirits is spent enjoying a locally cooked dinner with fellow new and present volunteers and the project house staff getting to know each other. The next day will be spent on an orientation of the local area and nesting beaches, data collection training and sea turtle biology presentations, with a popular cool down dip in the ocean before dinner. You will then spend your volunteering time monitoring nesting sea turtles and assisting hatchlings with some early morning patrols at sunrise and all night patrols measuring turtles, tagging, counting eggs and relocating nests when needed beneath the stars. Throughout the day you will join in beach profiling, coastal beach surveys, nest excavations (May-Aug), sea turtle junior rangers program, school visits, summer camps and community awareness days. But don’t worry there is still plenty free time to explore the island with lush rainforests, cooling waterfalls, spice markets, cocoa plantations, rum distilleries, snorkeling and much more!
The contributions, dedication and commitment are vital to our project growth. Each volunteer opportunity, although different, contributes an important part to the Organisation as a whole. In short, without volunteer participation the project would not be possible.
To learn more and apply to become an Ocean Spirits Research Volunteer visit our page at Working Abroad or take a peek here or here at the sort of things our volunteers get to take part in with the project.
What our Research Assistants say about their time working with Ocean Spirits Inc.
Grenada Sea Turtle Hotline
Call the POLICE if:
1. Hard-shelled species: If they are being caught or slaughtered during the closed season (April 1st – August 31st)
2. Sea Turtle Eggs are being poached (all species, any time)
3. Leatherback sea turtles are being slaughtered (any time of year)
Call the HOTLINE:
1. To report nesting sea turtles or emerging hatchlings
2. For help dealing with stranded, injured or entangled sea turtles
3. For assistance in dealing with hatchlings in trouble
You can also report non-urgent sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can't be with us...
We know not everyone can join Ocean Spirits in the field, but so much of our support comes from those nice people who help us through what they can do where they are.
Why Donate to Ocean Spirits?
Ocean Spirits Inc. is a nonprofit Organisation that relies entirely on volunteers, grants and donations to successfully carry out its work. We have a successful track record of over 16 years working for turtle conservation. Using our funding for research (currently the longest running sea turtle survey in Grenada), community outreach (training local staff in research and conservation), educational programmes, summer camps, field trips and school presentations.
Ways you can donate
Donating funds can help us, as we will have the flexibility to use it where it is most needed. Your funds may go towards hiring local staff to help carry out our night surveys, fuel for the project car to keep it on the road, buying supplies for the project or help towards operating the education programme. If you'd like to donate please visit the WIDECAST donation gateway and follow the instructions - its easy!
Buy Ocean Spirits Gear!
Support our work, promote our work and be a proud owner of our unique sea turtle themed gear!
Adopt your very own nesting leatherback from Grenada! The only difference than seeing her on the beach is she'll come to you...sort of :) We'll send you a certificate, photo of your turtle and all the stats, measurements and observations we have of her. You'll also get our annual newsletter, Your very own Ocean Spirits Inc. sticker (very rare!) and a t-shirt of your choice!
Buy Ocean Spirits T-Shirts
T-shirts also available on island at the Petite Anse Hotel, Aquanauts, Scubatech, Devotion2Ocean, Eco-Dive and Bathway Visitor Centre (see example) or you can buy direct from our Cafe Press store! Sizes available in S,M,L, XL and in various colours
Donating Equipment and Material
Sometimes we just don't have all the funds we need to get the equipment that allows us to do our work. This can range from waterproof notepads to walkie-talkies to project vehicles! Below is a list of things we are trying to source and purchase for our next nesting season. Please contact us if you are interested in donating one or more of these items. We can assist you in sourcing certain items, particularly field kit but please do not post us donated materials without contacting us first, as we may need to organise relevant permits.
Equipment List for 2017:
- Digital Camera (min. 6 megapix) with Aquapac for field photos must have flash-free option.
- 4 pairs of heavy duty, water-proof 2-way walky-talkies radios – for field survey safety and communication.
- Strong kit bags to carry research gear on night patrols
- Rite-in-the-rain waterproof field notebooks (type) – collecting data on boats and remote field sites, esp. during rain and near water environments.
- Rechargeable batteries and chargers (AA and AAA types). Must work on 220V but 110 also possible.
- Misc. Educational project materials – drawing paper, coloring pencils, coloring pens, kid-safe scissors, water-paint, glue sticks, sharpeners, kids toys.(e.g. ) bat, ball, skipping rope, board games, jig saws, etc.
- Office supplies – US letter sized paper, permanent markers/sharpies, file folders, printer ink (HP office jet 4630 ink), photo paper.
- Household supplies. With frequent volunteer change-over’s we’re always looking to keep our project house in good condition. Cleaning supplies (sponges, dish liquid soap, laundry detergent) dishes, cutlery, pots and pans, shower curtains.
- Snorkel Gear is always valuable for our in-water work – mask, snorkel, fins, etc.