Ways to Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love. National wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of urban and coastal communities to make a lasting difference. On this page, you'll find several ways to further engage with Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.


Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of volunteers have learned: volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Master new skills. Meet new friends. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow. Check out our station's latest volunteer opportunities on volunteer.gov.  

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge welcomes volunteers to assist with a variety of activities, from biological projects to maintenance duties. Some activities may have age and skill level requirements. Current available opportunities are:

  • Front Desk Greeter
  • Description: Greet visitors at the Occoquan Bay Information Center. If under the age of 18, must be accompanied by an adult.  Volunteer will receive training before first shift. 
  • Date/time: Thursday-Saturday, AM Shift 9:45am-1:00pm, PM Shift 1pm-4:15pm.
  • Interpretive Programs
  • Description: Assist with activities such as intro to archery, ranger led walks, crafts, and other nature based programs. Volunteer will receive training prior to program, experienced volunteers may have the opportunity to lead their own program. 

Contact Visitor Services Specialist, Gabby Youngken if interested in any volunteer opportunities.

Email: gabriela_youngken@fws.gov

Phone: 703-490-4979 ext. 52585

Our Partners

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is not alone in it's efforts to conserve wildlife and provide meaningful recreational opportunities. Partnerships foster creative solutions to challenging situations, and often the results are greater than the sum of the parts.  Learn more about our partners. 


Environmental Education

The refuge features several environmental education sites, including two outdoor pavilions, a 2.7 acre pond with a dock and ramp, and a floating boardwalk in a freshwater marsh. Environmental education activities are primarily self-guided field trips exploring topics prepared by the teacher. Interested educational groups or institutions are required to obtain a special use permit to gain refuge access for their program.

Education Programs

The Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex offers several youth internship and volunteer opportunities. We partner with the Student Conservation Association, American Conservation Experience, and Youth Conservation Corps to provide unparalleled service experiences that can help shape your future, as well as the planet's future.

We are seeking two Invasive Species Members to join the team from June to August 2023! These members will contribute to mapping and management of invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
at the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex along with other biological projects. You will also have opportunities to work alongside other refuge staff. If you would like to join us for the summer and find out more information, please see the advertisement on the American Conservation Experience website.

We are also sponsoring a Youth Conservation Corps Program for summer 2023! The Youth Conservation Corps is a work-learn-earn program aimed at developing an appreciation and understanding of the Nation's environmental and natural heritage. YCC members will assist with various maintenance and natural resource projects on the refuge. Environmental education field trips and programs will be incorporated into the work schedule as well. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be between 15 and 18 years old and must have their own transportation to and from work. For more information about the program, view the announcement letter. To apply, see the application. Applications are due May 13, 2023!