Please find details about the charities below along with links to raise and donate funds.
This year the funds raised from swim ticket sales and online donations will be donated to the Ionian Environmental Foundation to help them support 4 local projects dedicated to marine life conservation and education.
Headed up by Konstantina Rizopoulou, Ocean's Secrets educates young people about the importance of marine conservation. The future of the environment is in the hands of children; they are the citizens, decision makers and conservationists of tomorrow.
Many of the children of the Ionian islands attend hard to reach schools. The charity seeks to engage with them, to cultivate an active interest in the marine environment and encourage them to explore solutions to the threats faced.
To this end an inspiring and interesting extra curricular programme is taken to these outlying schools, currently reaching over 800 primary school children. We want this work to continue and expand.
Find out more on Ocean's Secrets Facebook page and Instagram account.
Posidonia oceanica is an important submarine meadow growing in the Mediterranean Sea. Known as ‘The Lungs of the Mediterranean’, due to the large amounts of oxygen they release, the Posidonia meadows are a vital part of the ecosystem.
They provide nursery beds and food sources for many species and sequester large amounts of blue carbon. In fact the meadows as a whole absorb over 15 times more CO2 than rainforests.
Some of the largest of the Greek sea meadows are in the Ionian Sea. Those along the coast of north-east Corfu’s Erimitis region alone provide a habitat for over 82 marine species and store nearly 600 tonnes of carbon!
Sadly, largely due to human activity, these meadows are under threat. Increased tourism has led to greater coastal development, anchorage and aquaculture. Further study of posidonia is needed, particularly within the Ionian islands’ region. Reposidonia seeks to identify the areas where immediate conservation intervention is required and to improve data on the distribution, so that their future is secured.
We are proud to support iSea'sproject. You can find out more on Reposidonia website.
The coastal waters of the eastern Ionian Sea are inhabited by a diverse range of marine mammals yet, worryingly, there has been a sharp decline in the number of dolphins recorded. The Paxos and Anti Paxos waters have been one of the key areas of research.
Between 1995 and 2007 numbers of common dolphins recorded there dropped from approximately 150 to 15. Sightings have been low since. This has been linked to human impact from over-fishing and an increase in tourist boat traffic.Being predators, at the top of the food chain, dolphins can tell us a lot about the state of the waters and play a crucial role in raising public awareness about marine conservation.
The Ionian Dolphin Project aims to provide solid scientific data on the current status of the common and bottlenose dolphins in these areas. This will help to pinpoint the most effective conservation measures. so we may hopefully see their numbers flourish once again.
Find out more on Ionian Dolphin Project website.
Recent years have seen a huge growth in the number of boats available for charter in the Ionian region; during the height of the tourist season bays can become crowded beyond safe capacity. Government data collected in 2019 showed 170,000 boats of different sizes available for charter in Greece. The numbers have continued to increase.
This is having a detrimental effect on both marine environment, especially the Posidonia meadows (see Reposidonia work above) and coastal communities. Fuel leaks, engine noise, pollution, litter, hitting and disrupting marine mammals (especially dolphins and sea turtles) are all problems caused by humans.Unfortunately limited information is currently available, for the boat users, on good practice and how to limit ecological harm.
This is where the Sustainable Sailing Pack comes in. It will contain information on responsible procedures, both on board and on shore, to help reduce, and avoid where possible, the aforementioned problems caused by boat traffic. It will inform the reader about Greek marine fauna and flora and ways in which to support the conservation efforts, eg reporting sightings of mammals to the relevant organisations, and how to help local communities.
Follow Sustainable Sailing Greece on Instagram and dowload the Sustainable Guide here:
The Smile of a Child is a registered Greek Charity with ten 'houses' across the country. In the Charity's 25-year history it has helped over 1.3m children recover from the effects of violence, health problems and extreme poverty, as well as spearheading countless missing children's campaigns.
The Corfu Centre currently houses around 20 children who, for one shocking reason or another, have been removed from the care of their family by court order. The Smile of a Child receives no financial assistance from the government and the Corfu Centre relies solely on funds raised locally. Supporting and educating children through to higher education is an expensive business and many of the children require intensive therapy to overcome the traumas they have experienced. The life changing impact Smile of a Child has to their lives is unequivocal.
Revered across Greece for the excellent work that it does, The Smile of a Child was also supported by the late parents of our founders, Patricia Cookson and Spiro Lemis.