Volunteering in the USA: Looking over the rugged coast of Catalina Island

Your trip at a glance


  • Travel to the West Coast of the United States
  • Help protect and preserve Catalina Island’s pristine nature
  • Work as part of an inter­na­tional volunteer team
  • Spend the nights in the wild nature
  • Discover a true island gem at the gates of California


Catalina Island
The coast line of Santa Catalina Island, the Pacific Ocean being in the front
Volunteering in the USA: Looking over the rugged coast of Catalina Island
The breaking waves of the Pacific Ocean on the US West Coast at sunset
Volunteering in the USA: The sun-covered harbour of Catalina Island's Avalon Bay
Volunteering in the USA: Looking over the Pacific Ocean of Catalina Island
Animal life in the USA: A herd of bisons on a grassland in  Catalina Island

Volunteering off the Californian coast

As a volunteer in our nature conservation project on Catalina Island you get the chance to discover the fascinating rock island in the Pacific Ocean, at the same time, to actively contribute to protecting its unique nature.

Panorama of Santa Catalina's Avalon Bay and ist numerous boats

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in the USA

You must organise your flight to California yourself. Thanks to its close proximity to the island, Los Angeles is the ideal destination. You will be picked up at the airport by an employee from our partner organisation and taken to Catalina Island with the other volunteers. Then you will be given safety instructions and information on local matters as a prelude to your voluntary service on Catalina Island.

US West Coast: Looking over the Pacific Ocean, purple plants blossoming in the front

Volunteer activ­i­ties on Catalina Island

Working hours are Monday to Friday, 40 hours per week. During this time you are usually involved in tasks like removing non-native plant species (neophytes), maintaining footpaths and erosion control. Combine nature tourism and voluntary service in a great way and experience eleven fantastic days on an island, for which you have taken on a certain responsibility towards protecting its biodiversity.

Wildlife in North America: Close-Up of a whale fin which is shortly going to disappear in the deep Pacific waters

Accom­mo­da­tion during your time in the USA

During your stay you will be given your own tent. Food is provided and prepared together by the group. That strengthens team spirit and communication.

Wildlife of the USA's West Coast: A group of sea lions on Catalina Island, "singing" together

Leisure time as a volunteer in the United States

The weekend is completely free. That leaves you and the other volunteers ample time to explore the island in the evenings or at the weekend. The main town, Avalon, is a scenic experience that is definitely worthwhile. Should you have time to spare beyond your voluntary service, we strongly recommend that you stop over either before or afterwards, because Southern California is just too awesome.

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

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Review Volunteering USA California Nature Conservation – Alice

“After a few days in the house there it feels like my new home and I met a lot of nice people from all over the world. It’s a good experience to live and work with them [...].”

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Review Volunteering USA California Animal Welfare – Marlene

“What remained particularly positive in my mind is the interaction among the staff members because they were incredibly open and very kind. I also very much liked the tasks that were given to me [...].”

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Review Volunteering USA Arizona – Bärbel

“I really enjoyed my time in the US national parks! It was amazing to be involved in nature conservation and get to know so many new people [...] and just to experience the “something different”. I would always do it again.”

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Review Volunteering USA California Nature Conservation – Anna

“Retrospectively I can say that the three months in California were one of my best experiences in my life and I would nothing do differently.”

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  • reiseorte-usa-catalina-island-insel-natucate
    1. Catalina Island

    The rock island Catalina Island is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 35 km off the gates of California’s metropolis Los Angeles. It covers about 200 km² and is home to about 400 plant species and numerous different animal species. The rugged rocky backdrop may not initially suggest the vast range of life that exists on Catalina Island, but the mere fact that some 60 species of the island's resident only exist here illustrates the need to protect this unique habitat.

    During your time as a nature conservation volunteer you can experience the beauty of this special island up close.

Purpose of the project on Catalina Island

Catalina Island appears like a gem in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Los Angeles and is fast becoming a top-ranking eco-destination. 88% of the surface area is under the protection of the Catalina Island Conservancy, a private organisation founded in 1972 which counts as one of the oldest in South California. Regardless of what time of year you decide to do voluntary service on Catalina Island, the climate is on the whole warm, even if the nights are somewhat cooler later on in the year.

If you are visiting Catalina Island for the first time, you will soon fall under the spell of the nearly 200 km², even if you don’t expect this on first sight of the rather bleak rocks. Around 400 types of plant and many different animal species are a clear indication of the enormous variety of life that will confront you on Catalina Island. The mere fact that about 60 species only exist on this island illustrates how important the protection of this unique habitat is. Let yourself be captivated by the typical grey foxes or bison, or even Mount Orizaba – at 650 meters, the highest point on the island.


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