Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples is seeking volunteers for outdoor positions. Volunteers with some boating or captaining experience in local waters is preferred.
The Team OCEAN program at Rookery Bay Reserve is seeking volunteers to operate vessels and provide other types of program support. The Rookery Bay Reserve protects 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters that serve as habitat for many of the state’s imperiled species.
“It’s not necessary to be a licensed boat captain,” said Rookery Bay Reserve’s Volunteer Coordinator Donna Young. “We’ll provide the training.”
Volunteers operating boats require some extra training, including an online course to ensure they will be safe on the water and meeting with the reserve’s dockmaster to learn about safe operation of Rookery Bay Reserve’s vessels.
Volunteer boat operators will transport other volunteers to areas in the reserve where they conduct visitor surveys, pick up trash and provide information about safe-boating practices and enjoying the beach responsibly. Team OCEAN volunteers are required to sign up for 4-hour shifts at least twice per month.
Also needed are vessel operators to transport research staff and volunteers to areas in the reserve where shorebirds and other wildlife are monitored. These volunteer shifts run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a twice per month commitment.
For businesses, groups or organizations looking for a way to get outdoors while volunteering, Rookery Bay Reserve offers other options such as trail maintenance, light construction and other outdoor assistance at the reserve’s Shell Island Road location.
Rookery Bay Reserve offers a free overnight program called “Summer Slumber” where children ages 11-14 can discover the nocturnal side of nature while camping with reserve educators inside the Environmental Learning Center on July 17. During this special program, campers will explore the estuarine environment through a number of activities including: trail exploration, plankton sampling, fish feeding, late night films and discussions about the latest in reserve research.
FREE KIDS OVERNIGHT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
Children learn about the estuary while camping inside the Learning Center
WHAT: “Summer Slumber” indoor camping adventure for children ages 11-14
WHEN: Friday to Saturday, July 17-18, 2015 from 7 p.m. ñ 8 a.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113
HOW: Register by calling 239-530-5972 or visit www.rookerybay.org/calendar
The event is free and a list of items to bring will be provided upon registration.