Work with People
Thank you for your interest in being a volunteer! Before you make a commitment to provide your service, you will want to know what kinds of opportunities are available in your community. When you make a pledge to provide volunteer service, the Waterkeeper in your area will be notified and contact you with information on the kinds of activities they might have available. Listed below are some kinds of things you might do if you want to help with education and public outreach.
Our local Waterkeepers rely on you to help them to protect and restore our local waterways. Volunteers help with trash cleanups, monitor water quality, staff events, report pollution, assist in the office, help advocate on issues by writing letters, providing testimony, and more. Here is a list volunteer programs with your local Waterkeepers:
- Blue Water Baltimore
- Potomac Riverkeeper Network
- James River Association
- Arundel Rivers Federation
- Assateague Coastkeeper
- Patuxent Riverkeeper
- Anacostia Riverkeeper
- Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper
We may not have a Waterkeeper in your area, but if we do we will connect you right away. If we don’t, please consider other individual service opportunities like using the Water Reporter app to report pollution or adopting a storm drain in your neighborhood.
Staffing a Booth at a Community or Private Event
Volunteers are often needed to help staff information or activity booths at community events. Earth Days, county fairs, and local environmental fairs or festivals are some examples of places where you might work if you were to volunteer to assist with public education and outreach about clean water.
There are many venues and events at which your local water resource professionals would like to have a presence but many times their organization does not have the people-power to work all possible events, especially in the evenings and on weekends.
Your willingness to learn about water quality topics, share brochures and information, and/or demonstrate or lead activities will make you a great volunteer for this kind of service. Your area’s sponsor will provide you with training and materials.
Giving Presentations to Schools and Other Youth Groups
Another important venue for volunteers is the classroom or youth groups such as afterschool care, scouts, clubs, etc. Sharing and educating children about important water issues will help create an informed and aware future generation. You might just be inspiring future water resource specialists!
In the classroom or outside, there are a variety of tasks a youth volunteer might do. You might give a short explanation or demonstration inside the classroom. (Presentations and materials would be provided for you.) You might lead or assist with a group of children exploring local water resources using table-top models or testing water quality from a local stream. You might share with a group of kids how they can be clean water super heroes and spread the word about how their friends and families can make a difference for water quality.
SPECIAL NOTE: An organization or entity may require a background check or screening of volunteers working with children. These screenings can be done for a nominal fee or sometimes the sponsoring organizations pays for them.
Presenting to Other Community Groups
Everyone has a stake in clean water. It is surprising sometimes to find out the variety of groups that want to learn about water issues. Homeowners associations, lake associations, local garden clubs, naturalist clubs, canoe and kayaking groups, and civic groups are just a few of the potential audiences you might get to work with as a volunteer presenter.
If you are an energetic speaker that loves the stage, our sponsors will happily equip you with great information to share.
Many Skills can be of Value
You don’t need special skills to be a volunteer, just a willingness to commit a bit of time and take some directions… maybe even participate in some training sessions. Your commitment of time and service will be greatly appreciated.
Special skills however, are occasionally needed at events. Do you boat or fish? Do you like to do arts and crafts? Are you a photographer? Are you a natural teacher or just great with kids? Many events often have specialized activities scheduled and volunteers with special skills, such as those previously listed, are needed to help with the event. So, it might surprise you how your special skills could be of value to you in a volunteer capacity.