Visit a National Wildlife Refuge
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida's Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 150 million acres that are the 550 national wildlife refuges and other units, plus 37 wetland management districts.
Other Places of Interest
Visit the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office for more opportunities to explore the Chesapeake. Connect through exceptional parks, wildlife refuges, museums, sailing ships, historic communities, trails and more. This site will provide you with a number of websites that will help you get out and explore the Chesapeake.
FWS Special Events Calendar
The Service’s Special Events Calendar can provide you with event details for birding festivals, pollinator events, Earth Day, International Migratory Bird Day, National Fishing and Boating Week, National Hunting and Fishing Day, National Public Lands Day, National Wildlife Refuge Week, open houses and other special events. Events are searchable by state/province and geographic region.
Attend Other Bay-Related Events
Visit the Bay Journal Calendar to find a fun and exciting Chesapeake Bay-related event to attend! Keep in mind that most cleanups ask volunteers to wear gloves and long shirts and pants. Events near water usually require closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get wet or muddy. Nearly all events urge participants to bring drinking water. Have fun!
Imagine banding birds at a national wildlife refuge, raising fish at a national fish hatchery, conducting wildlife surveys, leading a tour or restoring fragile habitat.
With close to 38,000 volunteers contributing more than 1.4 million hours, our volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks. Some work full-time, some just a few hours a week or month, or during a particular season or special event.
Who are our volunteers?
Our volunteers are individuals who want to give back to their communities, parents who want to be good stewards of the land and set examples for their children, retired people willing to share their wealth of knowledge and experience, concerned citizens of all ages who want to learn more about conservation, and passionate people who enjoy the outdoors and want to spread the word about America's greatest natural treasures.
What do our volunteers do?
Generally, no special skills are required to be a volunteer; on-the-job training is provided as needed. Individual talents and skills are matched with volunteer interests and work opportunities. The following opportunities may be available on a refuge near you:
- conducting fish and wildlife population surveys,
- leading tours and providing information to school groups and other visitors,
- assisting with laboratory research,
- improving habitat, such as re-establishing native plants along a riverbank,
- helping with special projects, such as banding ducks,
- performing clerical and administrative duties,
- working with computers and other technical equipment,
- photographing natural and cultural resources,
- fighting invasive species.
Plant a BayScape
Would you like to save time and money in your yard, while improving water quality and habitat for wildlife? Then plant a BayScape!
Other Conservation Ideas and Links
Visit the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office to find out more about ways to help the watershed while in your home, on the road, on the water, at work and at school!