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Join us as a volunteer

Join our community of volunteers to help keep Casco Bay blue. Use the form below to sign up to be a volunteer today!

Casco Bay belongs to all of us and it takes a community to protect our coastal waters. Share your skills—and learn new ones—by donating your time. We’d love to partner with you in our work to protect the Bay we all love and enjoy.

Much of our Science work is done aboard our Baykeeper boat. While volunteers sometimes express interest in doing water testing from our boat, it is rare that we have opportunities to volunteer on our boat. See all the other ways you can get involved below.

Questions? Email us at volunteer [at] cascobay [dot] org

Volunteer Application

It takes a community to protect our coastal waters. Share your skills—and learn new ones—by donating your time. Volunteering is a great way to show that you are a true Friend of Casco Bay. Our volunteer application has around a dozen questions. Please consider reviewing the form completely to get a sense of it before starting it.
  • Opportunities for volunteering at Friends of Casco Bay

    We are looking for Volunteers to help monitor nuisance outbreaks, using a smartphone app, or alternatively, a camera and a computer, to document, organize, and share their observations of the Bay.
    Coastal cleanups are a great way for families, students, and service groups to work together to take care of our fragile marine environment. These are scheduled on an as-needed basis from May to September.
    Storm Drain Stenciling is a hands‐on way for volunteers to "take to the streets" and create a greater awareness for reducing stormwater pollution. We loan storm drain stenciling kits to local groups with all the instructions and materials needed to host a stenciling effort in your community. These are scheduled from from May to September.
    BayScaping is an educational program on ecological lawn care practices, given to neighborhood associations, civic clubs, and other community groups. We need Master Gardeners and other “green thumbs” to assist at presentations at neighborhood gatherings, Portland Flower Show, and other events.
    Some of our special events include fundraising house parties, a summer institute for educators, and our annual Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. We often need logistical support for these events such as: set up and clean up, food prep, photo documentation, ushering, etc.
    These tasks include entering detailed information into customized databases for our water quality monitoring or fundraising programs.
    The tasks include stuffing, stamping and sealing envelopes for fundraising mailings. We also often need help with hand addressing envelopes.
    For those who would like a longer, more self‐directed project, we have occasional opportunities for volunteers to research issues or practices that relate to some of our ongoing or future programs
  • Things you can include: Relevant work & volunteer experience, Educational Background, Skills, and Why are you interested in volunteering with us?
  • Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability Form This Release and Waiver of Liability (the “release”) executed on the date this form is completed by the volunteer ("Volunteer") who completes this form releases Friends of Casco Bay, a nonprofit corporation existing under the laws of the State of Maine and each of its directors, officers, employees, and agents. The Volunteer desires to provide volunteer services for Friends of Casco Bay and engage in activities relating to serving as a volunteer to protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. Volunteer understands that the scope of Volunteer’s relationship with Friends of Casco Bay is limited to a volunteer position and that no compensation is expected in return for services provided by Volunteer; that Friends of Casco Bay will not provide any benefits traditionally associated with employment to Volunteer; and that Volunteer is responsible for his/her own insurance coverage in the event of personal injury or illness as a result of Volunteer’s service to Friends of Casco Bay.
    1. Waiver and Release: I, the Volunteer, release and forever discharge and hold harmless Friends of Casco Bay and its successors and assigns from any and all liability, claims, and demands of whatever kind of nature, either in law or in equity, which arise or may hereafter arise from the services I provide to Friends of Casco Bay. I understand and acknowledge that this Release discharges Friends of Casco Bay from any liability or claim that I may have against Friends of Casco Bay with respect to bodily injury, personal injury, illness, death, or property damage that may result from the services I provide to Friends of Casco Bay and occurring while I am providing volunteer services.
    2. Insurance: Further I understand that Friends of Casco Bay does not assume any responsibility for or obligation to provide me with financial or other assistance, including but not limited to medical, health or disability benefits or insurance of any nature in the event of my injury, illness, death or damage to my property. I expressly waive any such claim for compensation or liability on the part of Friends of Casco Bay beyond what may be offered freely by Friends of Casco Bay in the event of such injury or medical expenses incurred by me.
    3. Medical Treatment: I hereby Release and forever discharge Friends of Casco Bay from any claim whatsoever which arises or may hereafter arise on account of any first-aid treatment or other medical services rendered in connection with an emergency during my tenure as a volunteer with Friends of Casco Bay.
    4. Assumption of Risk: I understand that the services I provide to Friends of Casco Bay may include inherently dangerous activities that may be hazardous to me including, but not limited to water sampling and/or attending events that are near or on the ocean, slippery docks, rocks, piers, wharves, and boats. As a volunteer, I hereby expressly assume the risk of injury or harm from these activities and release Friends of Casco Bay from all liability for injury, illness, death, or property damage resulting from the services I provide as a volunteer and occurring while I am providing volunteer services.
    5. Photographic Release: I grant and convey to Friends of Casco Bay all rights, title, and interests in any and all photographs, images, video, or audio recordings of me or my likeness or voice made by Friends of Casco Bay in connection with my providing volunteer services to Friends of Casco Bay.
    6. Other: As a volunteer, I expressly agree that this Release is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of Maine and that this Release shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Maine. I agree that in the event that any clause or provision of this Release is deemed invalid, the enforceability of the remaining provisions of this Release shall not be affected.
    By completing this form and checking the box below, I express my understanding and intent to enter into this Release and Waiver of Liability willingly and voluntarily.

What do volunteers do?

More than 300 people volunteer their time with us every year, and these volunteers help us protect the Bay in a variety of ways, from cleaning up shorelines to stuffing envelopes.

Ongoing volunteer opportunities include:

Coastal Cleanups

Coastal cleanups are a great way for families, students, and service groups to work together to take care of our fragile marine environment. These are scheduled on an as-needed basis and usually take 2-4 hours. They are a great way to spend some time outside along the coastline, while also removing debris that can have a negative impact on Casco Bay.

Storm Drain Stenciling

Kids Storm Drain Stenciling
Stenciling storm drains is a great community service project. Photo from Friends School of Portland

Storm Drain Stenciling is a hands‐on way for volunteers to get outside and “take to the streets”. You will create a greater awareness for reducing stormwater pollution. We loan storm drain stenciling kits to local groups with all the instructions and materials needed to host a stenciling effort in your community.

 

Special Events like our Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Photo by Kyle Dubay

Our biggest event of the year is our Wild & Scenic Film Festival. To pull off big events like this, we need the help of volunteers. These events help us raise money and awareness about our work. As a volunteer you might greet guests, help set out materials, plate snacks, pour drinks, or usher.

Volunteers make the difference!

Our volunteers come from all walks of life. One thing they have in common is that they want to make a difference.

Deb Dawson shares why she volunteers with us: “I spend a lot of time sailing and kayaking on Casco Bay. The marine ecology is what draws me to sea kayaking and I see so many interesting things while exploring the shallow areas among the islands. I see the delicate balance of the ocean and am curious about the elements that make marine life possible. So contributing to the data collection that Friends of Casco Bay uses to monitor the health of the bay is very gratifying in many ways. I get to spend time near the water, actively participate in water sampling, learn about the scientific method, and know that I’m providing real data to help protect the delicate balance of life in Casco Bay.”

 

Carol Taylor, a volunteer who samples at Bethel Point in Harpswell, says, “The sea is where life began—we need to love it, respect it, and monitor its health! I love being part of something bigger, better than myself.”

 

 

Learn how others have helped and how you can help:

Thank you Color by Numbers Volunteers!

November 19, 2018

Thank you to the volunteers who helped fill this map with color! Sixty-five volunteers have taken 860 color measurements of Casco Bay since we launched our Color by Numbers pilot project last spring. Our volunteers put a modern twist on a century-old oceanographic tool, using their smartphones and tablets to… Read more

Water Reporters Spur Actions to Protect the Bay

October 16, 2018

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca is our watchdog on the health of the Bay. She is on or along the water as much as possible, even in her spare time! But she can’t be everywhere. Ivy says, “We rely upon our Volunteers to be our extra eyes on the Bay. Since July, increasingly… Read more

Water Reporters watch out for Casco Bay all year long

October 3, 2018

We launched our Water Reporter Observing Network in July. Since then, our volunteer Water Reporters have been reporting the good, the bad, and the ugly of what they have been seeing out on the Bay. Here are some recent examples: Sandy M shared this post on September 11th near East End Beach: “Just more plastic junk, but c’mon,”   Our Community Engagement… Read more