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Volunteers needed to work with wild birds at the Marathon Wild Bird Centre in Florida, USA.

The Marathon Wild Bird Center’s sole purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release both migratory and resident wild birds when they become injured, sick, or orphaned. Their rescue service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their major emphasis has always been to ease the suffering of these vulnerable creatures, and to return them to the skies as soon as possible. In addition to the organisation’s rehabilitation efforts, they take great pride in our many educational wildlife presentations in schools, libraries, and at community events that help to reduce the occasions of injury, and lessen the environmental hazards that place these birds at risk.

MWBC’s rehabilitation program concentrates on wild birds – the animals most commonly affected by the presence of humans in their sub-tropical islands. In the last decade, we have treated more than 5,500 birds of 70-plus species, from warblers to eagles. Taking advantage of the large number and variety of wild birds admitted for care at the center, MWBC continues to develop new and better methods of animal husbandry and medical treatments. Current areas of interest include:

– Developing appropriate uses of medications in wild birds
– Exploring improvements in nutritional supplementation
– Redefining the use of saltwater therapy pools for debilitate sea birds.

Their ongoing programme has also allowed MWBC’s volunteer staff to gain extensive experience in bird care.

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to help rescue injured wildlife at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, in Sanibel in Southwest Florida, USA.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is a teaching hospital and visitor education centre dedicated to saving wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care, research, education and conservation medicine. CROW’s Visitor Education Center (VEC) offers behind-the-scenes views into CROW’s animal care through live camera feeds, interactive displays and daily presentations by students, staff and volunteers.

Each year, CROW cares for more than 5,000 wildlife patients including more than 200 species of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in its veterinary hospital, which is one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation facilities for native and migratory wildlife.

CROW offers educational fellowships and externship programmes for undergraduate students, and internship programmes for veterinarian graduates. 

Volunteers are the cornerstone of CROW and each year more than 200 volunteers dedicate thousands of hours helping rescue, care for and rehabilitate wildlife.

Some of the opportunities you can get involved with whilst volunteering include:

– Volunteer Emergency Rescue and Transport (VERT)

– Drop-off Point Drivers (Transport only)

– Admissions Desk

– Baby Room – Patient Care and Cage Cleaning

– Laundry

– Rehabilitation – Patient Care and Cage Cleaning

– Facilities and Grounds – Maintenance/Repair/Upkeep

– Gift Shop

– Visitor Education Center

– Administrative Help (mailing, data entry, etc.)

– In-house and Outreach Education/Presentations

– Events

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to help protect and restore threatened reef habitats at the Coral Restoration Foundation, in Key Largos in Florida, USA.

The Coral Restoration Foundation are actively restoring coral reefs on a massive scale, educating others on the importance of oceans, and using science to further coral research and coral reef monitoring techniques. 

They work to support the reefs’ natural recovery processes through the large-scale cultivation, outplanting, and monitoring of genetically diverse, reef-building corals.

They engage and empower the community to join them to save the planet’s coral reefs with dive programs, educational activities, scientific collaborations, and outreach.

All volunteers must be within a two hour driving radius, or plan to be in the area for two months or longer.

Some of the opportunities you can get involved with whilst volunteering include:

– As a recreational diver, you could help with nursery work, outplanting on the reef, or monitoring the health of corals that have already been outplanted. The foundation provide structured training for in-water volunteers so that you can develop the skills you need, step by step. 

– There are opportunities for you to help them out at their warehouse and Exploration Centre in Key Largo. These could be anything from helping to build Coral Trees™ to providing outreach at the Exploration Centre. Every volunteer adds incredible value to this mission. 

– Office Volunteer: Help them at the Education Centre to greet visitors or answer calls.

– Outreach Volunteer: Attend special events with them and conduct community outreach/education 

– Warehouse Volunteer: Help them construct their Coral Trees (requires the use of power tools)

For you to be able to work with them on the water, you will need to meet the following requirements:​​

  • 18 years of age

  • Open Water dive certification (minimum)

  • Completion of 30 open water dives (preferably ocean dives)

  • Divers will need to show proof of dive insurance (DAN insurance is a great option!)

  • Divers will need to show proof of First Aid/CPR and Oxygen Administration training

  • Personal gear is maintained, proof of gear service within the last year

For you to be able to work with them on land, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • 16 years of age

  • Reliable transportation to and from Education Centre or warehouse

  • Good interpersonal skills 

  • Completion of a short orientation

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to help fulfill the mission of protecting whales and dolphins at the Dolphin Plus Marine Mammal Responder, in Key Largos in Florida, USA.

DPMMR seeks to connect people with marine mammal conservation and do their part to help protect whales & dolphins. 

They’re on a mission to protect whales & dolphins and the habitats upon which we all depend. They strive to achieve this by promoting animal welfare, facilitating impactful education programmes, conducting scientific research, and operating the only whale & dolphin stranding organisation in the Florida Keys. 

Their volunteers play a pivotal role in making sure they are able to fulfill their mission to protect whales & dolphins. Volunteers assist in the day-to-day operation of the Connect Centre, allowing their full-time staff to allocate their resources where they are best used. 

Most of their volunteers enjoy a meaningful experience as a part of their small team, as being a volunteer there is more than just donating your time – it is dedicating your experience for the betterment of marine mammal conservation.

All volunteers begin by learning more about DPMMR and their daily operations by assisting their Animal Care team with answering guest questions, photographing guest programmes, and helping maintain the facility. 

Volunteers must commit to completing a minimum of one 4-hour shift each week for a minimum of 12 weeks. 

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to clean and restore bay area parks and preserves for the Tampa Bay Estuary Programme, in St. Petersburg in Florida, USA.

Their mission is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.

Their work is governed by a Policy Board of elected officials and a Management Board of regional administrators. Several committees, including a Technical Advisory Committee of scientists and managers; a Nitrogen Management Consortium of industries, regulators and expanded city-county members; and a Community Advisory Committee of engaged citizens are also critical contributors to the restoration and protection of Tampa Bay.

Give-A-Day For the Bay is a volunteer programme sponsored by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program to directly involve citizens in restoring Tampa Bay. At Give-A-Day events, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program staff, local partners, and community volunteers put in “sweat equity” to clean and restore bay area parks and preserves. From removing exotic vegetation to creating living shorelines, these interactive events encourage volunteers to get dirty, give back, and have fun!

– Interested in being part of Tampa Bay’s restoration story? One way you can is by adopting a Vertical Oyster Garden, or VOG, and installing it off your dock! VOGs are strings of recycled oyster shells collected from local restaurants. When suspended in brackish water, these strings of oyster shells provide the ideal habitat for young, larval oysters to settle and grow.

– The Great Bay Scallop Search is an annual monitoring event. Citizen scientists snorkel along a transect line to search for scallops in selected areas of Tampa Bay. This monitoring helps document bay scallop population in Tampa Bay. 

– They are seeking volunteers to improve understanding of microplastics in the Tampa Bay watershed. Volunteers will be trained to collect, filter, and analyse microplastic contents in Tampa Bay water samples.

Climate change is affecting many coastal areas, including Tampa Bay.  Tea Time For Science helps us understand how different coastal ecosystems mitigate the change through blue carbon sequestration, or the storage of carbon in biomass below the soil. Trained citizen scientists used tea bags to examine soil decomposition and respiration rates variability around the estuary.

–  A nurdle is a plastic pellet which serves as raw material in the manufacturing of plastic products. Nurdles are washing up on United States beaches by the millions. In order to map the source of the contaminants, Nurdle Patrol needs help locating where the small plastic pellets are washing ashore.

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to assist in animal rescue and care, fundraising, and education at the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, in Fort Walton Beach in Florida, USA.

Located on 2.3 acres in Navarre, Florida, ECWR provides the community with a place to bring injured, sick or orphaned wildlife so that those animals can receive professional rehabilitative medical treatment and/or care before being released back into the wild. Their education centre gives visitors and students of all ages an opportunity to learn about native Florida fauna, their habitats, and the chance to see and learn about their ambassador animals. ECWR also has a trained stranding team that responds to stranded, injured, entangled or deceased marine mammals from the Alabama state line into Walton county and sea turtles in Okaloosa county.

Help ECWR in the best way possible. They have so many volunteering opportunities ranging from fundraising, education, animal care, and more!

To volunteer:

– 18 years or older

– Morning availability: volunteer shifts are from 8am-12pm (noon)

– Must commit to working 12 hours (three volunteer shifts) each month

– Must be willing and able to work outdoors in any Florida weather, but especially the typical high heat and humidity indexes

– This includes exposure to biting insects such as mosquitoes and flies

– Ability to withstand strong foul odors due to raw fish, animal faeces, and other substances you may encounter at the facility

– Ability to lift, push, and pull large loads of various materials

– Determination, perseverance, and resilience

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to assist with bird-of-prey rehabilitation at the Avian Reconditioning Centre in Apopka near Orlando, Florida, USA.

The Avian Reconditioning Centre, or ARC, is a bird of prey rehabilitation and education facility located in Apopka, Florida, just outside of Orlando. ARC was started in 2001, and opened to the public in 2004. They are dedicated to raptor rehabilitation, education and research, thereby increasing public awareness, knowledge and appreciation of Florida’s magnificent raptors and the natural habitats in which they live. They are open to the public on Saturdays (Closed in August). They invite you to stop by for a personal encounter with their resident eagles, hawks, falcons, kites and owls. 

The Avian Reconditioning Centre is dedicated to raptor rehabilitation, education, research, and falconry thereby increasing public awareness, knowledge and appreciation of Florida’s magnificent raptors and the natural habitats in which they live.

They are a specialised wildlife facility where large, outdoor enclosures allow for physical reconditioning and natural weatherproofing of recuperating birds of prey, also known as raptors. In many cases this physical therapy is necessary to provide the birds with a more realistic chance of survival once released to the wild. These same structures are also used to prepare orphaned raptors for a life in their natural habitat. 

Here are just a few of the tasks that volunteers can expect to perform: 

– Facility care: Constructing or rewrapping perches; Cleaning/Maintaining Mews; Helping to construct new housing facilities  

– Rehabilitation: Mews/Kennel cleaning; Feeding birds; Handling education birds; Weighing birds; Giving water and showers to all the birds on hot days; Bird Management; Helping to release birds back to the wild  

– Education: Talking to visitors about their education birds, their place in the environment, their biology, and how humans impact them; Programmes take place at ARC on Saturdays, and sometimes offsite during the week  

– Gardening/Landscaping: Planting; Watering; Weeding

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to restore bay scallops, monitor shorebirds, collect fisheries date, and maintain butterfly gardens at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission all across Florida, USA.

The FWC protects and manages…

– More than 575 species of wildlife

– More than 200 native species of freshwater fish.

– More than 500 native species of saltwater fish.

…balancing these species’ needs with the needs of approximately 20 million residents and the millions of visitors who share the land and water with Florida’s wildlife.

The FWC is responsible for managing Florida’s fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people. This often involves enacting and enforcing rules and regulations governing human activity in many areas – such as hunting and fishing, operating boats, possessing captive wildlife and dealing with nuisance animals.

Because rules are made, changed and repealed throughout the year, agency staff frequently interacts with affected individuals and the general public.

The FWC abides by Ch. 120, Florida Statutes, when making rules. In doing so, they notify the public of rulemaking activity through the Florida Administrative Weekly. Rulemaking often includes direct contact with those who may be affected, extensive discussions with stakeholder groups, and public meetings to gather input from interested parties.

Final decisions on rules usually happen at Commission meetings, held five times a year in locations throughout the state. They also provide public notice of various meetings through their website calendar.

With increasing pressures on Florida’s fish, wildlife, and habitats, they cannot accomplish their mission without your assistance. You can make a positive impact by assisting with activities such as habitat restoration, laboratory work, education and outreach, and many others. The FWC benefits from the skills and dedication of their volunteers, and in turn, they strive to offer a fulfilling, meaningful, and satisfying volunteer experience.

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to care for wild animals at the Forest Animal Rescue by Peace River Rescue and Ranch in Silver Springs near the Ocala National Forest in Florida, USA.

Founded in 1998, Forest Animal Rescue is a lifetime-care sanctuary for non-releasable wild animals. The rescued animals come from lives of abuse, exploitation, or neglect and most have narrowly escaped being destroyed for lack of a place to go. The sanctuary also rehabilitates and releases native black bears for Florida and surrounding State authorities.

Over 100 animals, ranging from big cats to bears, wolves, primates, bats, and more, reside on the 80-acre facility in large, natural habitats.

The animal residents have been confiscated by authorities, used in research, left to starve, or have been attempted pets that failed because of their wild nature. At Forest Animal Rescue, they have the space and peace that they need to heal and thrive. They receive the best in veterinary care, a healthy diet, and playmates of their own kind. They regain confidence as their bodies gain strength, and they learn to trust the humans who have come to their aid instead of living in fear.

As a true sanctuary, the rescued animals are never bred, sold, or exploited in any way. They are not asked to do anything except to be as wild as they were born to be. They learn to thrive under the careful watch and compassion of the caring staff. Forest Animal Rescue is not open to the public as an attraction or zoo; the only visitors allowed are through bi-monthly tours, scheduled in advance by reservation.

Forest Animal Rescue is highly respected and internationally recognised. Fully accredited by the American Sanctuary Association, a member of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance, licensed and inspected by State and Federal authorities, the sanctuary has earned a well-respected place in the sanctuary community.

Some of the duties included in volunteering are as follows:

– Prepare primate and bat food, this includes sorting, cleaning, and cutting fruits and vegetables according to strict dietary requirements. Distribute food to the animals.

– Assist in preparing omnivore and carnivore diets and food distribution.

– Assist in cleaning animal habitats and pools.

– General cleaning and organising activities involved with feeding and general care for the animals.

– Assist with habitat construction and maintenance, learning about captive wildlife safety and caging requirements.

– Assist in general grounds maintenance and repairs

– Assist in general animal enrichment activities thereby learning how to ensure a better quality of life for all animals residing at the sanctuary.

– Assist in general administrative duties related to animal care and sanctuary procedures and other activities as appropriate.

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to help protect and restore the Tampa Bay estuary at the Tampa Bay Watch in Tierra Verde, Florida, USA.

They coordinate environmental restoration projects throughout Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee Counties. Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs. There are volunteer opportunities for all ages to participate in a variety of hands-on habitat restoration projects such as oyster dome construction, oyster shell bar installation, native plantings, and coastal cleanups to help Tampa Bay recover from its devastating environmental problems.

Some of the duties included in volunteering are as follows:

– Tampa Bay Watch regularly seeks volunteers to represent their organisation at community events, corporate fairs, and concerts with a goal to increase awareness of their mission. As an outreach volunteer, you’ll talk to people who approach their display to learn all about the organisation and encourage them to sign up to receive the Tampa Bay Watch weekly Enewsletter. They’ll provide you with their display and handouts to effectively discuss programmes. Volunteers are responsible for transporting the display and materials to and from Tampa Bay Watch.

The Estuary EDventures Education Internship provides valuable environmental education, field ecology, and aquarium husbandry experience:

– Teach students of various ages in formal and informal settings

– Assist the education team in the daily and weekly set-up, clean up, and facilitation of each programme

– Perform various in-field activities such as trawling, seining, and kayaking

– Collect and identify species of the bay

– Perform a variety of aquarium husbandry tasks

– Design and implement education programmes and materials with the assistance of supervisor

– Facilitate at least one scheduled programme

– Other duties as assigned

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

Volunteers needed to assist with rescuing, rehabilitating, and providing a safe haven for wildlife at the Wildlife Rescue Coalition of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Their ultimate goal is to open an educational centre that will allow kids of all ages to come and learn about and appreciate wildlife. This centre would enable them to reach out and educate the Jacksonville community by participating with local schools and organisations.

The information that they could share through this facility would create awareness about the need to live in harmony with nature to children and adults who may not have had the opportunity to experience wildlife in their everyday lives. They hope that with the addition of an educational centre, they can inspire new people, like you, to become volunteers, members, rehabilitators, and sponsors of the organisation.

Some of the duties included in volunteering are as follows:

– Working at the Wildlife Centre in Jacksonville, caretakers are busiest in spring and summer when they receive thousands of orphaned animals as well as injured adults. Caretakers are responsible for feeding, cleaning, and general care of the wildlife such as food preparation, hand feeding, cleaning cages, maintaining a clean hospital environment, refreshing food and water in outdoor enclosures, and other duties as specified by staff supervisors. Animal experience not required, they provide on-the-job training on a daily basis. This is an immensely rewarding position – you can watch the babies go from infancy to release and know that you, personally, made it possible!

– As a special events volunteer, you will learn behind-the-scenes logistics of planning fundraising events, and work directly with the public. You may visit schools, events, and other organisations to teach ways to coexist with their wildlife neighbours and what to do when dealing with wild animals. It’s a fun opportunity, and you’re directly helping raise funds for WRCNEF, and awareness of its mission!

– WRCNEF receives calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day concerning wild animals in need of help. Animal transportation volunteers would help respond to those calls by picking up contained animals and transporting them to the drop-off point or Wildlife Centre. These animals may be sick, injured, or displaced. This is a critical position; if you cannot get the animals, you cannot help them.

– Foster caretakers take small animals such as squirrels or opossums home to care for them when they are very young.

– They also have a programme for students in both college and high school who need to obtain hours. If you need service hours, please let them know during your interview. You must be at least 17 years old to volunteer.

– WRCNEF relies on donations of goods such as produce, feed, hay, and pet food. You would pick up the items from the vendors and transport them to the Wildlife Centre.

Charitable Travel can help you plan your next trip to Florida and can tailor your stay to allow time for you to get involved in this project, which you will need to arrange directly via the link below.

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