No matter what your interest is, we have a job for you if you’re willing to donate your time! Please review the options below to get a sense of what each opportunity involves. Then, if you are interested in volunteering with us, call us directly at (206) 297-7002 or fill out a volunteer interest form so that we can best connect you with available opportunities.
Please note that for most positions, anyone under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a legal guardian in order to participate. We also ask that anyone under the age of 13 have one-on-one adult supervision at all times. Don’t forget to check our events calendar to see what’s coming up next and visit our Facebook page for updates and Instagram for photos!
Water Quality Monitoring
Soundkeeper participates in seasonal water quality monitoring projects that evaluate the health of our waters. Check back for updates on what opportunities are available.
During the winter of 2017/2018, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct a study to evaluate chemical pollution throughout Puget Sound. The goal of this study is to evaluate the health of the nearshore environment in urban growth areas and determine whether conditions are getting better or worse over time. To do this study, volunteers will place cages of native Pacific blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus), which absorb pollution as they filter-feed, in small cages at a number of intertidal locations in the greater Puget Sound. Puget Soundkeeper has adopted several monitoring sites in the Seattle area and is looking for volunteers to help install the cages in October, and remove the cages in February.
Starting in the spring of 2017, Puget Soundkeeper is coordinating the collection of water samples from sites around Puget Sound to look for microplastics. The U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration classifies microplastics as less than 5 mm in diameter. They come from a variety of sources, including larger marine debris, cosmetics, clothing, and industrial operations. Microplastics are an emerging concern to the health of our waterways, and Puget Soundkeeper plans to measure their prevalence in Puget Sound to hopefully inform future policy and restoration efforts that protect this ecologically and culturally important watershed.
For more information about this study, contact Kathryn Davis.
Salmon Pre-Spawn Mortality Surveys:
How many adult salmon return to Longfellow Creek in West Seattle each year? How many survive long enough to lay the eggs of the next generation? Adventurous volunteers are needed for salmon surveys starting in October. To find out more and be eligible to conduct surveys, attend our 2-hour training workshop in September and contact Kathryn for details.
For more information about either study, contact Kathryn Davis.
Volunteer patrols form a central part of our effort to monitor pollution and prevent debris from reaching the Sound. We need your help each week as we paddle through Lake Union and remove trash from the water while keeping an eye out for other pollution violations. Volunteers will be in double kayaks outfitted with trash bags, grabbers, and nets for scooping debris from the water. The team will paddle to a designated area of the lake and collect any visible trash to properly dispose of back on land. Check out our video to gain a sense of what our kayak patrol is all about!
The Kayak Patrol is open to anyone over the age of 13 and no prior kayak experience is required. We will provide training and all necessary equipment. Kayakers must dress appropriately for the weather.
Interested in taking a group out to kayak? Please contact our office (206-297-7002) to make arrangements.
Wednesdays 10:00AM – 12:00PM rain or shine
Check the events listings for upcoming kayak patrols.
Soundkeeper Boat Patrol
The Soundkeeper boat is out on the water each week at various locations around Elliott Bay, the Duwamish River, and the Lake Washington Ship Canal. While on patrol, we keep an eye out for abnormal discharges from stormwater pipes and combined sewer overflows. We also check for the application of best management practices by shoreline businesses (i.e. shipyards must use protective tarps when painting or sanding). Along the way, volunteers will learn about the history of Seattle’s industrial development and view our waterways from a unique perspective.
No prior boating experience is needed and all necessary equipment is provided. Please wear closed toe shoes and dress comfortably in layers.
Boat patrols are usually Fridays 10:00am – 2:00pm. Check our events page to confirm patrol times.
Check the events listings for upcoming boat patrols.
Marine Debris Cleanups
Despite much focus on toxic pollution and habitat restoration, litter and solid waste are a real problem for our waterways. More than just unsightly, litter and debris (especially plastic and styrofoam) create problems for fish and wildlife. Through ingestion, strangulation, entrapment and injury, marine debris kills and injures thousands of animals every year. Due to the long life of these products, litter and debris will continue to harm the environment until someone comes along to clean up the mess. Soundkeeper conducts multiple cleanup events every year, involving hundreds of volunteers from dozens of workplaces and organizations. Focusing on waterways and shorelines, volunteers clean beaches, paddle kayaks to find trash in hard to reach spots, and tow large debris safely to shore with larger boats. Contact us if your workplace is interested in organizing a cleanup activity for a team building day of service.
Cleanups are open to everyone and only require a willingness to get dirty! Soundkeeper will provide trash bags, grabbers, and gloves and will help properly dispose of trash when finished.
Please check our events page to sign up for upcoming cleanups or contact our office to arrange a group cleanup.
Volunteering to represent Soundkeeper at community events increases awareness of our organization to different communities throughout the Puget Sound basin. We invite you to reach out to your local community and represent us at events. Community Outreach Representatives will research community events, professionally represent Soundkeeper, and recruit new volunteers.
We welcome anyone passionate about the Soundkeeper mission to become a Community Outreach Representative. We will provide training and a supply of promotional materials to distribute at events. Knowledge of environmental science and marine issues is preferred, although not required.
Group Service Projects
Soundkeeper offers the opportunity for organizations and businesses to do group service projects and improve the health of Puget Sound. Do you work for a company that would like to sponsor a team cleanup or boat patrol? We can set up a group volunteer experience uniquely suited to your needs. For more information, contact Kathryn Davis.