There are many organizations in Connecticut and New York that need your help protecting Long Island Sound!
Throughout CT — Help Audubon CT with bird surveys, mailings, science programs, and other projects. Find volunteer opportunities with the National Audubon Society, Audubon Connecticut and at nature centers throughout the state. Click above for more info.
Old Mystic, CT — Volunteers help in all aspects of our operations including trail work, property stewardship, beach clean-ups, fund-raising, special events, clerical and computer support. If you are looking for a one-time, short-term or long-term volunteer opportunity, they can find something that suits your skills and schedule. Visit the Avalonia website or call (860) 884-3500.
Old Greenwich, CT – Volunteers staff the center’s touch tank, educate visitors about the ecology of Long Island Sound, collect animals for marine tanks, conduct water quality tests and biodiversity research, and assist with weekly activities for the public including nature walks, crafts, squid dissections, and seining. The Museum also offers internships! For more information visit the Bruce Museum website or call (203) 413-6746.
Southwestern CT–The Byram Watershed Coalition, the Mianus River Watershed Council, the Town of Greenwich, the City of Stamford and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are looking for community volunteers to perform Stream Walk Assessments of the Mianus and Byram Rivers this summer. If you are interested in participating please send an email to Jack Stoecker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (203) 253 9348 .
Throughout CT — CCE’s primary goal is to empower individual citizens to have a stronger voice and greater influence in the development and implementation of public policies affecting our water, land, and air in the Connecticut region. Visit the Citizens Campaign for the Environment website for more info.
Throughout CT — Volunteers participate in a free training day and then teach Family Fishing courses in their hometowns. Courses are usually run in partnership with town/city recreation departments and CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection provides all the equipment necessary. Our Water, Fish and Fishing curriculum is supported by fishing tackle, fish pictures, display materials and student booklets. Visit the Connecticut Aquatic Resourced Education (CARE) Program website or call (860) 424-FISH.
Throughout CT — Help the Connecticut Audubon Society by taking part in their Osprey Nation citizen science project. Visit the Osprey Nation website for more information.
Throughout CT — Help the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) by volunteering at state parks, conducting wildlife surveys throughout Connecticut, and much more. Visit the CTDEEP website for more information.
Throughout CT — Assist with Long Island Sound initiatives based on interest and available projects. Examples of past projects include impact of climate change on ecosystems, climate change impacts and adaptation, dredging, coastal permitting, coastal hazards. Visit the CTDEEP website for internship form.
Throughout CT – Volunteers will monitor local boat launches for the presence of invasive plants and animals, such as zebra mussels. The training will educate volunteers on how to identify and detect invasive species and also to instruct boaters on how to do the same. For more information or to volunteer, contact Gwendolynn of the CTDEEP at 860-447-4339. More here.
Hartford, CT – Rapid Bioassessment in Wadeable Streams & Rivers (RBV) is a citizen-based water quality-monitoring program developed by the CTDEEP to monitor water quality in wadeable streams and rivers. Visit the RBV website or call 860-424-4185.
Rockfall, CT — Volunteers cut brush, build water bars, blaze, and maintain the 825 mile long Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System with other CFPA volunteers, or join our volunteer special events committee. Visit the Connecticut Forest & Park Association website or call (860) 346-2372.
Mystic, CT — Volunteers help in all facets of our operations including education, clerical, special events, animal care, and maintenance. If you are looking for a one-time, short-term or long-term volunteer arrangement, you may find volunteering at DPNC is a rewarding experience. Visit the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center website or call (860) 536-1216.
Westport, CT — Assist Earthplace staff members with their Harbor Watch/River Watch water quality monitoring program. Visit the Earthplace website or call (203) 227-7253.
Woodbury, CT — Become a volunteer and join a unique group of people dedicated to improving the quality of life through education, recreation, preservation, and participation! Visit the Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust website or call (203) 263-3711 ext. 10.
Stony Creek, CT — This volunteer organization is dedicated to preserving and maintaining Outer Island, a Unit of the US Fish and Wildlife McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers are needed to act as docents for visitors to the refuge and also to help clean up and monitor the island. Visit the Friends of Outer Island website for more information.
Throughout the Housatonic River Watershed – HVA depends on the help of volunteers to carry out various land and water protection projects in the 2000-square-mile Housatonic Valley. Volunteers are needed to assist staff with field work (e.g. conducting stream surveys, water quality monitoring, or habitat assessments), in our office, and at our many special events throughout the year.
Visit HVA website or call (800) TEAM-HVA.
Northeast CT — The Last Green Valley Water Quality Monitoring Program is seeking volunteers to assist with collecting water quality information through Stream Walk visual assessment and Rapid Bioassessment protocols in our local streams. Training is free and all equipment is provided! Visit The Last Green Valley website or call (860) 928-4948.
Throughout CT — Volunteers are needed to provide scientists with detailed information on the nine spotted ladybug and other ladybug species in North America. You will look for ladybugs and send pictures of them do scientists can start to gather the information they need. This is the ultimate summer science project for kids and adults! You can learn, have fun and help save these important species. Visit the Lost Ladybug website for more information.
Norwalk, CT — Volunteers work at Aquarium exhibits, interpreting displays, and welcoming, orienting and educating visitors. Volunteers also staff the seal pool, Touch Tank, Ray Touch Pool, and Open Ocean exhibit. Visit the Maritime Aquarium website for more information.
Mystic, CT — After an initial training, volunteers assist with exhibit education, classroom assistance, the stranding team, and husbandry in animal care areas. Visit the Mystic Aquarium website or call (860) 572-5955.
Windsor, CT — This nature center needs volunteers to assist with programs, help to maintain trails, gardening, beekeeping, and much more! Visit the Northwest Park and Nature Center website or call (860) 285-1886.
Throughout CT — Volunteers are needed for trail maintenance and mapping, invasive removal, spring cleanups, board positions, hike and program leaders, teaching elementary school children in a river study program, River Rangers, writers and graphic designers for publications, and more. Visit the Norwalk River Watershed Association website or call (877) NRWA-INFO.
Throughout CT – The Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) was established as an outreach program for monitoring marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs). As part of this program, you collect valuable information about phytoplankton populations in your area! Visit PMN’s website to learn more.
Southbury, Woodbury, Bethlehem, CT – Volunteers are the life-blood of the PRWC. Volunteers are needed to assist staff with field work (e.g. conducting stream surveys, water quality monitoring, or habitat assessments), conducting research, preparing outreach materials (e.g. props for education programs, articles for the newsletter, or exhibits for local fairs), in our office, and at many special events throughout the year. Volunteers are also often the source of ideas for initiatives carried out by the PRWC. For more information, visit the PRWC website or call (203) 267-1700.
Throughout CT — Sample and tag horseshoe crabs along New York’s coast during spring spawning surveys. Visit the Project Limulus website for more information.
Throughout CT — Join other volunteers in beach cleanups and habitat restoration projects in the Long Island Sound region. Save the Sound is a program of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. Visit the Save the Sound website or call (203) 787-0646, Ext. 113.
Throughout CT – The Sound School is asking blue crabbers from NY and CT to send reports about their crabbing experiences and observations of habitat and fishing success. If you are interested in participating, call (203) 946-6875 or email at email@example.com and data protocol will be sent to you.
Stamford, CT — Volunteer act as greeters and receptionists, help with data entry and assist with aquaria and displays. Visit the SoundWaters, Inc. website or call (203) 406-3302.
The Still River Watershed (Danbury, Bethel, New Milford, and Brookfield, CT) – The Still River Alliance is a partnership of individuals, organizations, and public agencies dedicated to the stewardship of the Still River and the river’s greenway system, and to the continued improvement of the environment of the surrounding watershed. Volunteers are needed to help monitor the river’s health (e.g. water quality sampling), maintain the greenway (e.g. cleanup events), and conduct educational and outreach events. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastern CT — The Poquetanuck Cove Preservation Committee of the Thames River Basin Partnership is seeking volunteers to assist with summer plant community monitoring at Poquetanuck Cove, located between Preston and Ledyard, CT. This monitoring is part of a multiyear Phragmites control project in Poquetanuck Cove, the best preserved tidal cove off of the Thames River. Training is free and all equipment is provided! Visit the Thames River Basin Partnership website or call (860) 928-4948.
Throughout CT — The Nature Conservancy offers many volunteer opportunities throughout Connecticut! Monitor stream health, help remove invasive plant species, or with office work. Visit The Nature Conservancy website for more information.
Litchfield, CT — Volunteer to lead nature walks, teach programs on pond critters, or help care for the animals. Visit the White Memorial Conservation website or call (860) 567-0857.
Throughout NY — Attend Audubon Society field trips and events and help conduct bird counts throughout Long Island. Find an Audubon Center near you or contact your local chapter for more volunteer opportunities: Huntington Chapter, Four Harbors Chapter, NYC Chapter.
Douglaston, NY — Help with the Center’s animal care, outside work, educational programs and special events. Field Biology internships are also available for high school students! Visit the Alley Pond Environmental Center website or call (718) 229-4000.
Throughout NY — Volunteers are needed to look for alewives (a species of river herring) in streams within their community from early March to mid-May. Land based monitoring, no experience is necessary, it’s easy to do and we really need the help! Volunteers will be trained during workshops. To learn more, call or email Vicky to sign up at (631) 444-0441.
Throughout NY — Come clean the beaches of Long Island Sound during the Annual International Beach Clean-up Day in September. They also have a fish tagging program—you can tag fish for their survey! Visit the American Littoral Society website for more information.
Bayside, NY — Every spring Bayside Anglers Group host the “Little Neck Bay Beach Clean-up” a shoreline clean-up of the Bayside, NY waterfront. We encourage everyone from every community to pitch in and help us keep the Long Island Sound as clean as possible. Visit the Bayside Anglers Group Ltd. website or call (917) 439-3022.
Bronx, NY – Bronx River Alliance works with the Bronx community to restore and revitalize the health of the Bronx River. Their stewardship efforts extend to plantings, rubbish removal, and helping to rebuild connections to the river through tours, cycling, paddling and kayaking events along the river. Visit their website for opportunities and events to join us and volunteer, or call (718) 430-4665.
Throughout NY — CCE’s primary goal is to empower individual citizens to have a stronger voice and greater influence in the development and implementation of public policies affecting our water, land, and air in the New York and Connecticut region. Visit the Citizens Campaign for the Environment website for more information.
Port Jefferson Station, NY — Volunteers can participate with the Shellfish Restoration Project, Adopt-A-Beach (beach cleanups), and Educational Programs (several including curricula for classrooms). Visit the Coastal Steward website or contact David at (516) 946-6560 or email@example.com.
Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Volunteers can assist with animal care or help with fishing and other special events. Visit the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium website or call (516) 692-6768.
Huntington, NY — Volunteers assist with water quality monitoring in the Huntington-Northport Bay Complex. All volunteers must attend a free training on water quality monitoring and monitoring techniques in order to participate in Water Logging. Visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County website or call (631) 239-1800 ext. 21.
Oakdale, NY — Volunteers are trained to assist with whale watch trips to spot animals and record data. Volunteers also help with seal observation trips, such as seal walks and cruises. Visit the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island website or call (631) 244-3352.
Deer Park, NY – Volunteers can help protect and restore this 843-acre nature preserve by helping with invasive removal, cleanups, maintaining trails, and much more! Visit the Friends of Edgewood Preserve website or call Patricia at 631-242-7402.
Setauket, NY — Join Friends of Flax Pond and help collect data on diamondback terrapins or horseshoe crabs! Visit the Friends of Flax Pond website or call (631) 941-9404.
Oyster Bay, NY — Become a water quality monitoring volunteer or help with other efforts to preserve and protect the waters of the Oyster Bay-Cold Spring Harbor estuary. Visit the Friends of the Bay website or call (516) 922-6666.
Glen Cove, NY — Volunteers help with the preserve’s outdoor education program, invasive plant removal, maintaining the butterfly gardens, or with other work around the preserve. Visit the Garvies Point Museum and Preserve website or call (516)571-8010.
Greenburgh, NY — Volunteers can help care for the live animals, maintain the museum or greenhouse, or help in the hands-on discovery room. Visit the Greenburgh Nature Center website or call (914) 723-3470.
Throughout NY — Sample and tag horseshoe crabs along New York’s coast during spring spawning surveys. Visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension website for programs throughout NY or visit the Project Limulus Website for programs in the north shore of Long Island.
Manhasset, NY — Help keep Manhasset beautiful by volunteering to clean up litter, plant trees and flowers, or increasing community awareness about these issues. Visit the Keep Manhasset Beautiful website or call (917) 991-2710.
Throughout NY — Volunteers are needed to provide scientists with detailed information on the nine spotted ladybug and other ladybug species in North America. You will look for ladybugs and send pictures of them do scientists can start to gather the information they need. This is the ultimate summer science project for kids and adults! You can learn, have fun and help save these important species. Visit the Lost Ladybug website for more information.
Riverhead, NY — Volunteer opportunities vary from wildland seed collection, plant identification, plant propagation, seed cleaning, database management, mailing assistance, and participating in the Native Plant Symposium and Annual Native plant Sale in June. By joining the LINGI mailing list, volunteer opportunities will be announced as they occur. Visit the website or call (631) 727 -2315 x3.
Long Island, NY – The LI Envirothon is an annual outdoor environmental studies competition for high schools students in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Our volunteer opportunities included supervising students during the event, assisting at a subject area station, judging oral presentations, and various operational jobs such as passing out tee shirts, signing in teams, and running tests. We need approximately 100 volunteers for the event which is held in April each year. Visit the LI Environthon’s website or call (631) 727-2315 x3.
Port Jefferson, NY — LISEC needs volunteers to do beach clean-ups, shellfish restoration, and to help with marine education and geology programs. We also need people with carpentry skills to work with our wooden boat building program. Visit the Long Island Seaport & Eco Center website or call (631) 474-4725.
Throughout NY — Volunteers can search this database to find hundreds of opportunities throughout Nassau & Suffolk counties. Visit the Long Island Volunteer Center website or call (516) 564-5482.
Suffolk and Nassau Counties — Volunteers are needed to test waterways on a regular basis for baseline data monitoring. Test kits and training are provided. Children are welcome with responsible adult supervision. Visit the Long Island Water Sentinels website or call (631) 560-0055.
Throughout Long Island — The Marine Meadows Program is an innovative, community-based component of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s overall eelgrass restoration efforts. Through the Marine Meadows Program, workshops are held at which land based volunteers of all ages assist in preparing eelgrass planting units for deployment by CCE staff at carefully selected restoration sites in our local waters. For more information, follow the Marine Meadows program on Facebook, or visit their website. If you are interested in hosting, sponsoring, or participating in a Marine Meadows workshop, please contact Kim Barbour.
Throughout NYC – Join New York Restoration Project (NYRP) in planting and caring for trees, cleaning parks, planting flowers in community gardens – even helping out in their office. Visit the NY Restoration Project website to find volunteer opportunities near you!
Throughout NY — There are 20 state parks and historic sites throughout Long Island. Visit the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website to get contact information for the park closest to you!
Throughout NYC – The newly launched PARKS GREETER CORPS is a team of motivated volunteers who are ambassadors of New York’s park system in the community. Park greeters are a welcoming presence at the entrance to parks and playgrounds, inform patrons of the available amenities and programs, gauge the public’s opinion and interests, and serve as eyes and ears for the park’s condition and environment. We are looking for volunteers from all backgrounds in all five boroughs. Visit NYC Parks website or contact Mahanth Joishy at 212-360-8287.
Throughout NY – The Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) was established as an outreach program for monitoring marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs). As part of this program, you collect valuable information about phytoplankton populations in your area! Visit PMN’s website to learn more.
Riverhead, NY — Volunteers can teach the public about the Foundation’s work and what to do when they see a marine mammal or sea turtle in New York waters, assist with beach patrols to look for cold-stunned turtles, or join the rescue team to help injured marine life. Visit the Riverhead Foundation website or call (631) 369-9840.
Rye, NY — Volunteers assist Center staff with programs, grounds maintenance, administrative tasks, and special events. The Center also provides internships and community service opportunities for students from local schools. Visit the Rye Nature Center website or call (914) 967-5150.
Throughout NY – The Sound School is asking blue crabbers from NY and CT to send reports about their crabbing experiences and observations of habitat and fishing success. If you are interested in participating, call (203) 946-6875 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and data protocol will be sent to you.
Larchmont, NY — Join Sheldrake Environmental Center’s Volunteer Environmental Educator Training Program and learn to lead hands-on ecology programs, including school field trips to Dog Beach on the Long Island Sound. You will gain natural history knowledge and teaching techniques, meet other nature enthusiasts, enjoy continuing education, social gatherings and trips and make a huge contribution to the community. Visit the Center’s website or call (914) 834-1443 to speak with Mary, Environmental Program Director.
Throughout NY — Volunteers help with lobbying actions, paperwork, writing articles and materials for fliers, computer work (data entry and updates), beach cleanups, managing events, assisting at tablings, doing educational presentations, being a committee chair, and many more. Visit the Sierra Club of Long Island website or call (631) 689-1568.
Southold, NY — Volunteers help to maintain their shellfish hatchery and gardens, with boatbuilding, and assist at the aquaculture facility which grows clams oysters and scallops. Visit the Southold Protection in Aquaculture Training website or call (631) 852-8660, extension 34.
Smithtown, NY — Assist with the Nature Center’s summer camp, animal care, butterfly house, wildlife rehabilitation, and special events. Visit the Sweetbriar Nature Center website or call (631) 979-6344.
Throughout NY — The Nature Conservancy offers many volunteer opportunities throughout New York! Help remove invasive plant species, monitor the endangered piping plover, or with office work. Visit The Nature Conservancy website for more information.
Oyster Bay, NY — Volunteer opportunities range from scientific research (bird banding, dragonfly census, and plant identification) to teaching environmental programs about Long Island Sound. Stewardship of sensitive areas is also needed to further protect wildlife and their habitats. Visit the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center website or call (516) 922-3200.
Locust Valley, NY — Volunteers have the opportunity to help care for injured native wildlife in the rehabilitation hospital or help the education department with events and education programs. Visit the Volunteers for Wildlife website or call (516) 674-0982.
Westchester County, NY — Find an exciting volunteer opportunity near you on Westchester County’s Volunteer web page.
Throughout NYC — Volunteer at the Bronx, Central Park, Queens, or Prospect Park Zoos or the NY Aquarium. Visit the Wildlife Conservation Society website or call (718) 220-5100.
Upper Basin States
Throughout MA – Volunteers are needed to assist with collecting water samples for a bacteria analysis that is being conducted. Samples are needed every Thursday morning (can be before work) from May 31 to October 4 from the UMASS boat dock near Elwell Island, at the marina or state boat ramp in Oxbow, or from Mill River, all of Northampton, MA. CRWC is also working with the Division of Ecological Restoration’s River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS) program to establish stream flow gages on one or more tributaries to the Fort River in south Amherst, MA. Please contact Andrea at 413-772-2020 x 205 or email for information on both programs.
Along the CT River, NH, VT, CT, MA–Many of you regularly go out on the Connecticut River or its tributaries to paddle, fish, boat, swim, or hike or bike along it. Being part of the Eyes & Ears network means that if you see something unusual, you contact us or a regulatory agency. Over the past 2 years, Eyes & Ears volunteers in the Upper Valley have led EPA to identify and properly dispose of a “mystery barrel” on the riverbanks, alerted Fish & Wildlife to assess the cause of dead fish on the shoreline, helped a town stop runoff from their town garage, and much more. We will train you to know what to look for and what to do if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right. Call 413-772-2020 x204 or email for more information.
Throughout MA–Volunteers are needed to assist with collecting water samples for a bacteria analysis that is being conducted at 16 locations along the Millers River and Otter River. Volunteers especially needed for the lower Millers River. For more information, please email Keith.
If your organization has volunteer opportunities and would like to be added to this list or you have an upcoming event you would like us to list, please contact Amy at email@example.com or (631) 632-9216.