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Volunteer

See Where You Can Help

RSVP for Volunteer Orientation

ECWR has multiple repeat volunteer opportunities available for those interested in helping us achieve our mission. As of June 2023, we have changed our volunteer orientation process. All volunteers must RSVP for orientation (there is limited space at each session). Orientation includes a presentation detailing the different volunteer opportunities available and a tour of our facility (wear shoes you can walk through sand in!).

Volunteer orientation is only available for interested volunteers 16 years of age or older. If you or your child is under 16, please do not RSVP or attend volunteer orientation. Students 9-15 can apply for our Youth Advisory Council - applications are open in January and August.

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations:

  • Thursday, March 14th, 10-11:30am

There is a small volunteer fee for repeat volunteers that covers the cost of your volunteer shirt and any training (this fee is not due at the first orientation).

If you are interested in one time volunteer opportunities, you do not need to attend orientation. At this time, one-time volunteer opportunities are limited to our once-a-month community work days. See details below!

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You can also find information about other/special volunteer opportunities at the bottom of the page.

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Animal Care Volunteering

Required Qualifications:

  • Age Limit: 18 or Older

  • Hours per Month: 12 Hours - 3 Shifts per Month

  • Preferred Availability: Mornings - Shifts are 8am-12pm, 7 Days a Week

  • Keep in Mind: You must be willing to work outdoors in a variety of Florida weather, around foul odors and scat, and be exposed to typical Florida levels of insects

    • This is a very competitive volunteer opportunity. It can and will take weeks or months to add you to the training schedule rotation. Animal Care volunteers must undergo rigorous and extensive training shifts.

    • There is an additional Animal Care specific orientation required after the initial volunteer orientation, led by our Animal Care Director, before you will start training shifts. She will reach out when there are spots open.

  • Helpful Personality Traits: Dependable, Good Listener, Hard Worker

  • Possible Opportunities: 5 Levels - Introductory Ambassador Husbandry, Advanced Ambassador Husbandry, Rehab Animal Husbandry, Nursery, and Vet Shift

Watch the video below to learn about Animal Care volunteering.

One-Time Volunteer Opportunities: Community Work Days

Community Support Days are the perfect short-term opportunity for families, individuals, and more to earn some extra volunteering hours. There's no orientation or requirements to be able to participate, other than signing up ahead of time and come with a positive attitude ready for some dirty work! Our community work day teams typically take on projects such as habitat builds, habitat maintenance, monofilament line collector construction, and general maintenance and beautification.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Group Volunteer Days: If you're interested in scheduling a volunteer day with your company, organization, or other group, please reach out to our Executive Director at Director@EmeraldCoastWildlifeRefuge.org (click the email to auto-populate the subject line).

Eagle Scout Projects: If you're interested in completing your Eagle Scout Project at ECWR, please reach out to our Executive Director at Director@EmeraldCoastWildlifeRefuge.org (click the email to auto-populate the subject line). These projects can take some time to set up, so the longer you have to complete it, the better!

Bright Future Hours: Are you a 16 or 17 year old student looking for Bright Future Hours? Join our Education & Outreach or Maintenance & Beautification volunteer teams! You can do so by RSVPing for volunteer orientation at the top of this page. If you're looking for one-time volunteer opportunities, RSVP for our community work days!

Marine Mammal Stranding Team

Required Qualifications:

  • UWF Marine Biology Student (Undergraduate or Graduate)

  • ​18 years or older

  • Must be able to stand, sit, and walk for more than 30 minutes

  • Able to safely lift 50+ pounds

  • Must be willing and able to work outdoors in any Florida weather conditions, especially the typical high heat and humidity indexes

  • This includes exposure to biting insects such as mosquitoes and flies

  • Ability to withstand strong foul odors

  • Must participate in deceased recoveries and necropsies

  • Able to contribute a minimum of 8 hours a month​

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