Volunteers are the lifeblood of Tampa Bay Watch! They accomplish restoration and protection activities we could never afford hired staff to complete. Youth and adult volunteers are involved each year in a variety of hands-on habitat restoration projects such as oyster dome construction, oyster shell bar installation, salt marsh plantings and coastal cleanups to help the bay recover from its devastating environmental problems. Volunteers of all ages participate in our projects. Our coastal cleanups and salt marsh plantings are family-friendly and open to all ages. If you would like to be kept informed of our numerous volunteer opportunities, complete our online registration so you will receive our weekly email message which advertises our upcoming environmental restoration projects.
UPCOMING VOLUNTEER EVENTS:
THE GREAT BAY SCALLOP SEARCH
Join Us for Tampa Bay's Treasure Hunt!
Saturday, August 23
9 am - Noon
Fort De Soto Park boat ramp
Our most popular volunteer event, The Great Bay Scallop Search, is almost here! It’s an annual resource monitoring event in which we recruit volunteers to snorkel along set transect lines to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa Bays. Scallops are extremely sensitive to pollution, so they serve as useful "underwater canaries" to signal changes in water quality. Click here to read more about the Scallop Search.
We mainly recruit volunteers with shallow draft boats for the event. We normally have limited spots for canoes and kayaks, but they've already filled up for 2014! We also accommodate a limited number of volunteer snorkelers who do not have boats to participate in the event. Space for volunteer snorkelers without boats is based on registered volunteer boaters having space for additional passengers. Registration fills up quickly, so be sure to register today!
SUNSHINE SKYWAY MONOTUBE CLEANUP
Help Us Remove Dangerous Monofilament Fishing Line!
Friday, August 8
We're recruiting volunteers for the Sunshine Skyway monotube cleanup. This cleanup event is part of Tampa Bay Watch's monofilament fishing line collection and recycling program, which helps prevent and reduce entanglement hazards for our local marine life. Volunteers for this cleanup will meet Friday, August 8 at 9:00 am near the Blackthorn Memorial Park located on the North Pier of the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park to receive collection equipment and instructions.
The cleanup will involve 15 volunteers emptying and collecting the monofilament and discarded fishing lures from 30+ of our monotube stations along the Skyway fishing piers.
Monofilament fishing line cleanups are important because fishing line can take over 400 years to decompose. Once Tampa Bay Watch volunteers collect the monofilament, it is sent to Berkley Fishing, where it is recycled into tackle boxes and other fishing equipment, as well as fish habitat. Reservations are required to participate in the project.