DEP Celebrates Florida Coastal Office Volunteers

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

DEP Celebrates Florida Coastal Office Volunteers

~Volunteers support success of aquatic preserves and research reserves~


Rookery Bay and GTM Research Reserve volunteer Bob Wickline.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In celebration of National Volunteer Week, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Coastal Office (FCO) recognizes its incredible volunteers. Throughout the state's 41 aquatic preserves and three National Estuarine Research Reserves, volunteers work side-by-side with staff as they engage with the community and conduct stewardship projects.

FCO's southwest Florida offices host a variety of volunteer-run programs that contribute to the success of managed areas. From Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve's Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program to Rookery Bay Research Reserve's Team OCEAN, the opportunities for volunteers are endless. One pair of volunteers enjoys their service so much that they spend part of their year volunteering at Rookery Bay in Naples and the other part at GTM Research Reserve in Ponte Vedra.

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve is also home to several important volunteer opportunities. One of the most popular programs is the sea turtle monitoring program. Volunteers help research staff monitor nests and conduct various other research activities in the summer months. 

"We are incredibly lucky to have such dedicated volunteers who help us succeed in furthering our mission," said FCO Director Kevin Claridge. "With the help of our volunteers, we are able to connect with local communities, expand outreach efforts, and conduct research and resource management activities. Last year alone, FCO had a total of 262 volunteers devote 3,989 hours to DEP's Florida Coastal Office. Thank you to all of the incredible volunteers for all that you do."

Learn more about volunteer opportunities with FCO.