Get Involved

Get Involved

Due to COVID-19 volunteer projects at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge are limited.


The first national wildlife refuge was established in 1903 as a result of concerned citizens. Volunteers continue to create major impacts on refuges around the country over 115 years later. Whether working directly with refuge staff or as a member of the over 200 refuge Friends organizations, supportive citizens keep refuges running. 

At Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, volunteers help with biological programs such as “nest-sitting” with loggerhead sea turtle nests, waiting for hatchlings to emerge. Volunteers also form an important part of the Refuge Visitor Services program, greeting the public and providing information in our Visitor Contact Station and Entrance Station. Trail maintenance and construction projects would not be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers who keep the trails maintained and weeds, poison ivy and branches away from the walkways. Several special volunteer days are also held throughout the year to clean up refuge beach. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Visitor Services Specialist at (757)301-7329 ext.3106. Opportunities are often seasonal in nature.


The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Society (Society) is looking for members and volunteers to assist with a range of projects. Recent Society projects include installation and maintenance of osprey platforms in Back Bay and production and installation of plant identification signs on the Raptor Trail. Upcoming projects include a pollinator garden at the Refuge Visitor Center and installation of four time laps photograph points around the Refuge grounds. Visit the Society's website or Facebook page for more information.

Society Website:

Society Facebook: (@backbaynwrsociety)


***ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Every year over 2,000 children visit the refuge and participate in a variety of outdoor education programs. We are searching for enthusiastic volunteers to help us provide high quality education programs to these young visitors. Please contact Erica Ryder (number and email below) for more information. 

***BIOLOGY SUPPORT: Our biology team is searching for volunteers interested in a range of activities, including assistance with bird surveys, bee surveys and vegetation surveys. Most of these activities are seasonal in nature, with the exception of bird surveys, they are conducted all year long. For more information about biology programs please contact Refuge Biologist Lauren Mowbray at

***FRONT DESK: The reception desk of the Visitor Contact Station is the face of the refuge. Our reception volunteers are key to greeting, orienting and providing basic information to visitors. This is a great way to stay connected! Training is provided. 

***TRAIL MAINTENANCE: The third Wednesday of every month from 9:00am-11:00am is a Trail Maintenance Day! Come join our team as we beautify our hiking trails, using scientific techniques to keep our trails healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing. Please contact Erica Ryder at if you are interested in this project.

***BEACH CLEANUPS: Every year we host two community beach cleanups. The first Saturday of June is Clean the Bay Day and the last Saturday in September is National Public Lands Day. Be sure to call us to sign up for one of these events. Volunteer groups can also sign up for beach cleanups at any time of the year. We welcome your help!

General Volunteer Agreement Form (can be filled out before arriving for a volunteer event)

Trail Maintenance Volunteer Agreement Form (can be filled out before arriving for a trail maintenance event)

Please contact Erica Ryder at or call (757)301-7329 ext.3106 for more information about any of these opportunities.


Blue Goose Wildlife Tram

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park partner for the Blue Goose Wildlife Tram. For the last 20 years a team of volunteers have guided visitors through the Refuge and False Cape State Park. 

***VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!! False Cape State Park is currently searching for all those interested in driving and interpreting the Blue Goose Wildlife Tram. Driving the tram is a unique opportunity to visit the refuge and False Cape State Park and to share all the beauty and history of these areas with the public. Schedules are flexible and training is provided. For more information contact Cameron Swain at