Volunteering
Scheduled projects at Tampa Bay Watch

We couldn’t accomplish any of our restoration or education goals without the help of our active volunteer base! Volunteers of all ages from children to retirees help in habitat restoration projects, lend a hand at our annual fundraisers, and represent our organization at community events to increase awareness. In 2019, approximately 2,000 volunteers from corporate groups, families, individuals, and more helped us accomplish our mission. Still have questions? Click here!

To best protect all staff and participants, we strongly encourage our volunteers to be vaccinated, and face masks will be required for all of our fall 2021 volunteer projects.

Upcoming events:

28th Annual Fishing Line Island Cleanup: October 4-18

Join Tampa Bay Watch and Audubon Florida for this annual event!

The goal of this event is to remove hazardous monofilament line from mangrove shorelines. Monofilament or “mono,” is a fancy word for the commonly used plastic fishing line. It has great fishing utility, but can take over 600 years to break down, and poses serious threats to birds and other wildlife. Improperly discarded mono and fishing gear leads to wildlife entanglement, accidental hooks, and ingestion.

This will be a do-it-yourself event, where participants will travel to their designated location by personal boat/other watercraft any day between October 4 and October 18 to target shorelines where cast line has been caught in the tree line. Volunteers will compile the recovered monofilament to be collected, cleaned and recycled.

Click here to see available sites and register to volunteer.

Mono Clean-a-thon: October 13, 9 AM - Noon

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers for a “Mono Clean-a-thon” to clean mono, or monofilament fishing line, at Tampa Bay Watch Marine Education Center, 3000 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, FL 33715. The project involves sorting through the line to remove debris, then cutting out hooks and lures. Our goal is to clean 50 miles of line which will be sent to Berkley Fishing to be recycled into fishing equipment or fish habitats.
 

Oyster reef ball construction: 9 AM - Noon on specified dates

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to build oyster reef balls at Tampa Bay Watch Marine Education Center, 3000 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, FL 33715. The minimum age to participate is fifteen years old.

The project involves pouring marine friendly concrete into a fiberglass mold to create oyster reef balls and taking apart the molds that were previously poured. These reef balls will be installed at a later date to stabilize shorelines and prevent erosion while creating habitat similar to natural oyster communities found along shoreline areas throughout Tampa Bay.

Click a date below to register!

October 14  |  October 19  |  October 21  |  October 25

Oyster reef ball installation at MacDill Air Force Base: October 28 & 29, 9 AM - Noon

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to help install oyster reef balls by boat to the shoreline of MacDill Air Force Base. Although this is a heavy project as reef balls weigh 200 pounds each, there will be tasks for all physical capabilities. We’ll be loading reef balls onto our boats via dollies to be placed on the shoreline.
 
Click a date below to register:
image: discovery center at dawn

Discovery Center Volunteers Needed

Tampa Bay Watch seeks volunteers ages 16 and over for our new Discovery Center located on the new St. Pete Pier. Docents/volunteers are needed to give facility tours, answer questions, and monitor the exhibits and touch tanks.  Familiarity with coastal ecosystems is helpful but not required. A passion for the environment is highly desired. For more information, contact Erin McGrath at emcgrath@tampabaywatch.org.

Be the face of Tampa Bay Watch!

Tampa Bay Watch regularly seeks outreach volunteers to represent our organization at community events such as MarineQuest and Ribfest. As an outreach volunteer, you’ll talk to people who come up to our display to find out more about our mission, our restoration projects, youth education, and volunteer and membership opportunities. Click here to find out more about helping out as an outreach volunteer.

Contact Rachel Arndt with questions about volunteering at Tampa Bay Watch: