Volunteer

exhibit guide teaching children at the touch tank

Florida Oceanographic Society needs your help! Whether you are looking to volunteer, donate, become a member or business partner, your support is vital to both Florida Oceanographic and to our mission. Get involved today!

The volunteer program at Florida Oceanographic is successful because it attracts dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate people who live our mission.  We currently have over 250 volunteers integrated into every aspect of our organization. Volunteers take ownership and pride in working with Florida Oceanographic and contribute thousands of hours each year.
 
A variety of volunteer opportunities exist at Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center for individuals 15 and older. We also have family and group opportunities with project specific activities that take place throughout the year. Please take a minute to browse through our Volunteer Opportunity Descriptions (below), fill out our online application and plan to attend an information session to learn more about our Coastal Center and how you can contribute to our mission.

If you have questions about our volunteer program or would like to attend an information session please contact Rosemary Badger, Volunteer Coordinator, at 772.225.0505 ext. 109 or email rbadger@floridaocean.org for more information.

 

Complete Our Online Volunteer Application 

* If you are between the ages of 15 and 17 you must fill out an essay (located on the volunteer application) and submit 2 teacher recommendation forms. Download the teacher recommendation form here. 

 

Click Here to view the Volunteer FAQ

 

 Volunteer job Descriptions

Help Florida Oceanographic Society keep our local beaches clean! This new volunteer program allows participants to conduct a beach cleanup at their convenience. It is as easy as registering to be a Florida Oceanographic volunteer, downloading the approved app, and beginning your cleanup. Please note that if you are looking to get credit for volunteer hours, you must get pre-approval from Florida Oceanographic’s Volunteer Coordinator. Available for Martin and St. Lucie County residents only.

The Beach Cleanup Program provides the opportunity for families, individuals and groups to participate in beach cleanups at a time most convenient for them. Every one of us can do something to help protect our environment. Take action today, and every day, by removing trash and man-made debris from areas where it doesn't belong. 

  1. Complete the online Florida Oceanographic volunteer application found at Volunteer.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult during any beach cleanup.
  2. Download and register with the MyCoast app
  3. If you are looking to get credit for volunteer hours, please email Volunteer Coordinator Rosemary Badger at rbadger@floridaocean.org so that we can get you properly setup in our system. Without prior approval, your hours may not be able to be verified.
  4. We have adopted Stuart Beach, Waveland Beach, and Jensen Beach. When you arrive at the designated beach, login into the MyCoast app, select the correct beach and Florida Oceanographic Society as the organization. Make sure to take a photo of your collected trash and upload it to your app. Then dispose of your trash and recyclables properly.
  5. Send an email to Volunteer Coordinator Rosemary Badger at rbadger@floridaocean.org once completed so your beach cleanup can be verified with MyCoast.org and you can receive volunteer hours. Florida Oceanographic tracks and reports hours that individuals spend on volunteer activities, including beach cleanups, in our annual Impact Report.

Cleanup Tips:

  • Use a bucket for your trash instead of a trash bag to cut down on plastic waste.
    • Be mindful of the wind so items you collect don’t blow out of your bucket/bag.
  • Gloves or trash pickers are recommended for your safety.
  • Don’t forget for the small items, such as broken pieces of plastic, as they can do just as much harm to wildlife as the big pieces.
  • Avoid walking in the dunes.
  • Properly dispose of all trash/marine debris after cleanup.

Thank you for taking the time to cleanup and participating in this program! You are making a difference for the environment in your community!

beach
beach cleanup
Exhibit guide at the touch tank
Exhibit guides at the touch tank

Are you passionate about the environment?  Do you enjoy working with children and adults?  If you are a people person and aren't squeamish around sea creatures, then consider joining the team of volunteers helping to inspire environmental stewardship among the 60,000+ guests that visit Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center each year.  Initial training will help you get started, additional training opportunities are available and independent study is encouraged. Shifts are 3 hours per week and volunteers must make a minimum commitment of 3 consecutive months.  Exhibit guides must be at least 15 years old. Youth volunteers applying to work with exhibits must submit a 500 word essay on the volunteer application and submit 2 teacher recommendations. 

* Download the Exhibit Guide Volunteer Job Description 

Green team volunteers working in the garden
Green team volunteers outside of the greenhouse

If you have ever taken a stroll through the butterfly garden, you have no doubt seen skippers and other butterflies flittering about and sipping sweet nectar from the many flowers adorning an abundance of green foliage. Each week, volunteers and staff work together to create harmony and balance in the garden.  They prune, transplant, propagate, nurture and remove invasive weeds that could otherwise choke out our beautiful garden.  It's a labor of love!  If you are interested in joining our Friday morning garden crew, please contact Rosemary Badger, Volunteer Coordinator, at rbadger@floridaocean.org.

No positions currently available. 

Volunteers bagging oyster shells
Volunteers deploying oysters

Improving the health of the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon through oyster reef restoration is an important endeavor! The FL.O.O.R. (Florida Oceanographic Oyster Restoration) program actively engages the public in restoring oyster reef habitat and we need volunteers to help us with monthly shell bagging and reef construction. Closed-toe shoes are mandatory and entering waist deep water at the reef deployments may be necessary. Gloves and drinking water are provided. If interested, please complete the volunteer application above and keep an eye on our calendar and Facebook page for event dates and times. Contact Rosemary Badger, Volunteer Coordinator, at rbadger@floridaocean.org or call 772-225-0505 ext. 109 for more information.

Seagrass matting
Seagrass deployment

Seagrasses are vital to the health of Florida’s waterways as they serve as habitat and food for thousands of species and improve water quality by trapping sediments and removing nutrients. The F.O.S.T.E.R. (Florida Oceanographic Seagrass Training Education Restoration) program actively engages the public in restoring seagrass habitat. With the aid of a growing volunteer base, F.O.S.T.E.R. restores seagrass by collecting fragments, growing seagrass in nursery tanks, creating seagrass planting units, and transplanting living seagrass into the Indian River Lagoon. We need volunteers to help grow our seagrass and making planting units for restoration. Keep an eye on our calendar and Facebook for exact dates and times or contact Rosemary Badger, Volunteer Coordinator, at rbadger@floridaocean.org for more information.

Water quality tester
Water quality tester

The Florida Oceanographic Society Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring Program goal is to assess the long-term trends and changes in the water quality of the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon. The data collected by our volunteer testers fill in monitoring gaps in these areas by providing more frequent sampling across more stations. With the help of dedicated volunteers, Florida Oceanographic has been closely monitoring water quality in our area since 1998. Our water quality testers receive training and are loaned equipment to document changes in water quality every week. The collected data is reported and published on our website and distributed to local news outlets every week, providing weekly updates on the health of our estuary.  

We are currently looking for volunteers (minimum age of 18) water quality testers in these areas of the St. Lucie River: (1) the North Fork of the St. Lucie River including River Park Marina, (2) between the Evans Crary Bridge and Sandsprit Park, and (3) the between the Roosevelt and Evans Crary Bridges particularly the northern side.  If you are interested in volunteering for this program contact Rosemary Badger, Volunteer Coordinator, at rbadger@FloridaOcean.org for more information.

CLICK HERE to access the Water Quality Questionnaire 

Do you live on or like to visit our local waters? Interested in helping monitor seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon? Under the Citizen Science Seagrass Network, volunteers will conduct monthly seagrass monitoring at public sites or even their own waterfront property! This program will help us conduct more widespread seagrass monitoring and better understand the health of the lagoon. 

We are currently recruiting volunteers to join our new Citizen Science Seagrass Network. This program requires working outdoors in shallow water as seagrasses are a submerged marine plant – meaning they are only found under the water! Please contact Rosemary Badger, Volunteer Coordinator, at rbadger@floridaocean.org for more information.