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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer Opportunities

If your care about the sanctuary and want do more to protect this special place, consider volunteering! Volunteers help educate visitors about wildlife, collect important research data from sanctuary beaches and watersheds, and provide advice on key sanctuary management and protection issues. Time commitments vary for each opportunity—please check the specific program you are interested in.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Water Quality and Beach Monitoring Programs

Snapshot Day

Volunteers test water quality throughout the sanctuary's watersheds one day each spring.


snapshot day volunteers taking water samples

First Flush

Held during the first major storm of the year, volunteers analyze water quality to characterize "first flush" storm water runoff.


first flush volunteer taking water sample

Urban Watch

Volunteers collect urban runoff water samples from storm drains during the dry weather months that are analyzed for contaminants.

urban watch volunteers taking water samples


A beach monitoring study, utilizing volunteers to sample selected sections of beach for stranded marine birds and mammals.

beachcomber volunteer taking samples

Interpretive Guide and Docent Programs


Volunteers learn the basics of kayaking and are trained as naturalists to educate other kayakers about the sanctuary and to promote respectful wildlife viewing.

team ocean kayaker

Bay Net

Bay Net Volunteer Naturalists engage the public by introducing the sanctuary and local wildlife easily seen from shore with binoculars and spotting scopes.

baynet volunteers

Coastal Discovery Center

Volunteers assist with programs and operations of the Coastal Discovery Center located in San Simeon.

Interns working

Sanctuary Exploration Center

Volunteers guide visitors through exhibits, help with events and programs, or assist with daily operations.

Interns working

Additional Programs Supported by MBNMS

Coastal Cleanup Day

Volunteers come together annually in September to pick up trash and debris from California's coastal beaches and watersheds.


Volunteer of the Year

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer of the Year Award is our way of saying thank you to these volunteers who take time out of their lives to make the Sanctuary a better place.

Reviewed: September 08, 2023
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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