Volunteer in Virginia

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From oyster gardening to underwater grass restoration to speaking engagements to becoming a Chesapeake Stewards, we've got plenty of ways for you to get involved across the Commonwealth!

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is very fortunate to have the help and support of thousands of citizens who volunteer their time and who have demonstrated their commitment to a cleaner, healthier, Chesapeake Bay. Every year, volunteers donate more than 25,000 hours to CBF programs that advance the Bay's health. The immediate results of their work are impressive. But the value of their undertaking for future generations is priceless. We salute our volunteers for their contribution to a better community and a restored Bay.

Following are just a sampling of the many ways that you, too, can get involved.

If you would like to become involved and have not volunteered before or would like more information, please complete our Volunteer Information Form. If you are already a CBF volunteer and would like more information about current or specific opportunities, contact our office at 804-780-1392.

In the Field

  • Stream and Shoreline Restoration

    Planting native trees and shrubs along the banks of waterways in one of the most effective ways to keep polluted runoff out of streams. Creating living shorelines with native wetland plants and grasses helps restore habitat for wildlife, preventerosion, capture sediment, and filter pollution.

    Check our calendar for current opportunities

  • Underwater Grasses Restoration

    To help restore the Chesapeake's disappearing underwater grasses, which are stressed by murky water, CBF volunteers grow grasses in their own homes. When the grasses are ready to transplant, volunteers wade in and plant the underwater vegetation. Underwater grasses help oxygenate the water and provide vital habitat for fish and crabs.

    Find out more about CBF's GRASSES FOR THE MASSES PROGRAM

  • Clean the Bay Day

    Since 2000, CBF has sponsored one of Virginia's most effective clean-up efforts. Clean the Bay Day, held annually the first Saturday in June, now elnlists more than 7,000 volunteers to remove litter and debris from the state's waterways. From the the Shenandoah Valley to Virginia's Eastern Shore and from Northern Virginia to the North Carolina border, this impressive effort pulls more than 100 tons of trash from the Bay and its tributaries each year.

    Find out more about Clean the Bay Day

In Your Community

  • Advocacy

    CBF volunteer advocates speak for the Bay and its rivers and streams. They are the infantry in our fight for clean water, making their voices heard on public policy, legislation, development, and other issues that affect our waterways. Advocacy volunteers contribute at many levels. They show up at rallies, send e-mails, make phone calls, gather signatures for petitions, and remind citizens and public officials of the need to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams.

    Join CBF's Action Network

  • Clean Water Captains

    Clean Water Captains are ambassadors for clean water in their communities. CBF staff can't be in all 92 localities that drain to the Bay, so we rely on captains to help be the eyes, ears, and voice for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. Clean Water Captains take action in support of clean water by sharing information with their neighbors, congregations, community, and elected officials to help raise awareness and help realize practical, effective, local solutions. Captains help find solutions that work to restore clean water in their communities.

    Find out more about being a Clean Water Captain

  • Events, Fairs, and Festivals

    We frequently are looking for volunteers to assist at CBF seminars, workshops, and other events. These are great opportunities for learning more about the Bay while you meet other Bay supporters. There are also many great fairs and festivals in the area, such as Harbor Fest and the Boardwalk Art Show. We often get requests to be at these events, but simply cannot attend them all due to staff limitations. Staffing a CBF table is a great volunteer opportunity to help spread the word about CBF and its programs. You will receive free entry into the event if you volunteer.

    Check our calendar for upcoming events

  • Speakers Bureau

    What are the issues affecting the Bay and its rivers and streams? How can citizens make a difference? In presentations to civic, service, and social organizations across the region, volunteers from CBF's Speakers Bureau provide the answers. Their training includes briefings on the state of the Bay's health, the latest legislative issues, and the science-based strategies that are needed to save the Bay.

    Learn more about CBF's Speakers Bureau

  • VoiCeS

    CBF's Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards (VoiCeS) program is an adult education and volunteer training course designed to create a deeper understanding of the Chesapeake Bay and its issues. When the program is over, graduates commit to completing 40 service hours in their area of the watershed. VoiCeS graduates share their skills and knowledge by assisting Riverkeeper organizations and watershed restoration groups and participating in restoration efforts.

    Learn more about CBF's VoiCeS Program

  • Student Wave

    High school students, join a wave of action projects happening across the Chesapeake Bay region by doing one in your community. From installing rain barrels to cleaning up streams and more. Watch for photo contests and other opportunities to raise awareness about Bay issues while winning cool prizes. Follow Student Wave on social media to make sure you don’t miss out on other fun opportunities!

    Join Student Wave

In Our Office

Administrative Assistance and Tours

At CBF's office in Richmond, volunteers take on a host of administrative duties. They contribute to communications projects, educational programs, data entry, and outreach activities.

Internships

CBF's Richmond office offers a limited number of unpaid internships for undergraduate and graduate students. Interns have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of environmental professionals on a host of water-quality related issues. Interested students should check our Internship Opportunities webpage.

Pro Bono Assistance

Volunteering as a CBF pro bono volunteer is a great way to build professional skills while putting your talents to use to better your community and save the Bay. Whatever your talents—law, communications, finance, fund raising, to name just a few—please consider putting them to use for the Bay. 

If you would like to become involved and haven't volunteered before or would like more information, please complete the Volunteer Information Form below. If you are already an active volunteer, please contact our office at 804-780-1392.

 

Join us today!

There are a variety of options available to help Save the Bay.

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Volunteer

Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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