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Join us as a volunteer

Join our community of volunteers to help keep Casco Bay blue.

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.

Due to the pandemic, we have suspended organizing in-person community service activities for the time being.

There are two primary ways to volunteer with us during the pandemic:

  • Help us keep an eye on the Bay we all love by becoming a Water Reporter. You can learn all about Water Reporter here.
  • Complete a coastal cleanup, while staying safe. While it is critical to follow safety guidelines, if you find yourself headed out for a walk, grab a trash bag, some gloves, and your face mask, and bring home a bag of trash to add to your curbside collection. Please see our detailed guidance on how to have a successful cleanup while maintaining critical public health measures.

If you have any questions as you participate in either of these efforts, please reach out to our Community Engagement Coordinator, Sarah Lyman at (207) 370-7553 or slyman [at] cascobay [dot] org.

Use the form below to sign up to be a volunteer today! Once your application is accepted, you will be placed on the email list to be notified of future volunteer activities. We will provide you with details about collecting observational data through our Water Reporter program, a great way to stay involved and make a big impact.

Please know that much of our Science work is done aboard our Baykeeper boat. While volunteers sometimes express interest in doing water testing, it is rare that we have opportunities to volunteer to collect water quality data. Instead, volunteers collect critical observational data through our Water Reporter program.

Our internship application is separate. If you are interested in an internship with us, please read this page.

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

    Want to get outside, take photos that may help protect the health of Casco Bay, and connect with other community members? We invite you to join Water Reporter. It is an exciting way to share what you see around the Bay using a smartphone app to document, organize, and share your observations of the Bay.
    Litter and marine debris that wind up on our shores can pollute our water, hurt marine life, and reduce the quality of life of those who live, work, and play on Casco Bay. We generally run one or two public coastal cleanups a year. One is held every September as part of World Cleanup Month.
    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 or families. The kits provide you with all the instructions and materials needed to host a stenciling effort in your community. Kits are available from from May to September. By signing up, you'll get reminders about the program.
    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 fundraising programs. These tasks are complete during time our office is open, 9 AM-5 PM Monday - Friday.
    The tasks include stuffing, stamping and sealing envelopes for fundraising mailings. We also often need help with hand addressing envelopes. These tasks are complete during time our office is open, 9 AM-5 PM Monday - Friday.
  • 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 their 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 their 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 do 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. Email Signup: We would like to contact you from time to time to tell you about important updates about the health of Casco Bay, special events, and how you can support our mission. Please opt in to receiving these updates by sharing your email address below. You can opt out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe links at the bottom of each email.
    7. 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.

Learn how others have helped and how you can help:

We are water, we are the Bay

December 1, 2021

Dear Friends of Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine poet Gary Lawless read his poem, “For Casco Bay, for Us,” for the first time to a live crowd at former Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell’s retirement party in August. The poem has been echoing in my ear since then. Gary reminds us… Read more

Friends’ Volunteers Document Eelgrass Mystery

November 12, 2021

  Water Reporters up and down Casco Bay have been documenting an increase of torn and uprooted eelgrass washing ashore from mid-August through September. Falmouth Town Landing, Broad Cove, Wolfe’s Neck, and Maquoit Bay are among the locations where Water Reporters have encountered piles of this ecologically vital, ribbon-like seagrass. Eelgrass… Read more

Looking back and looking ahead: leadership at Friends

September 21, 2021

Dear Friends, It has already been three weeks since we gathered with 200 Friends of the Bay to celebrate the career, contributions, and retirement of our longtime Executive Director, Cathy Ramdsell. Cathy’s send-off party, held outdoors at Portland Yacht Services’ boatyard, marked our first in-person event since the onset of… Read more