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Volunteer Programs

Sarasota County has several volunteer programs that benefit area water resources. Coordination and training for each is provided by the County. Read about the programs below, then sign up for the volunteer opportunity that best matches your abilities, schedule and interests. You'll meet new people, learn new skills, help your community, and have fun while doing it!

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List of Volunteer Programs

SEA Team's Scallop Seeding Program SEA Team's Scallop Seeding Program

Scallop seeding volunteers hang cages filled with scallops from their docks. This provides a safe home for the scallops allowing them to repopulate Sarasota's bays without succumbing to predation. On a monthly basis volunteers document the scallops progress so that scientist at the Florida Wildlife Research Institute and Sarasota County can utilize the data.
Requirements: Must have a dock. Be willing to commit to at least one year of participation. Willing to clean the cages and collect data on a monthly basis.

SEA Team's Seagrass Survey Program SEA Team's Seagrass Survey Program

Seagrass survey volunteers boat or kayak Sarasota's bays and take note of things like the type of seagrass they see. Seagrass is vital to maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, stabilizing shorelines and providing food and shelter for a variety of wildlife including scallops. The information gathered by seagrass survey volunteers allows scientists to better understand and manage these important ecosystems. Many volunteers find surveying seagrass fun, easy and rewarding.
Requirements: Attend a two hour training session and be available a few days during the months of February or August. It is preferred that all volunteers have their own GPS, boat or kayak. However, effort will be made to pair those who do not have the above equipment with those that do.

Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST)

Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) concept is based on the idea of promoting neighborhood involvement in environmentally friendly projects to protect and restore our water resources. The NEST program projects focus on providing watershed education and getting neighbors involved in activities that improve their neighborhoods and enhance their watershed. The program goal is to help citizens and neighborhoods become advocates and champions for the watersheds in which they live.