Volunteer Opportunities

Get involved through a few volunteer opportunities with WSG.

For a list of volunteer opportunities see below:

Bivalves for Clean Water

Marine Water Quality Specialist, 206-543-6600

The Bivalves for Clean Water program educates marine shoreline owners and recreational shellfish harvesters about coastal pollution, ecosystem health, water quality and resource management issues challenging Puget Sound and Hood Canal. This multifaceted approach lets participants choose activities that fit their individual learning styles and interests.

Activities offered include workshops, field trips, shellfish-enhancement activities, citizen monitoring, beach walks and assessments, site visits, publications and one-on-one technical assistance.

WSG recruits and trains volunteers to identify and eliminate pollution sources in their watersheds, enhance recreational shellfish populations and conduct safe recreational harvest trips.

King Tides

Bridget Trosin, Coastal Policy Specialist

Ecosystems, infrastructure and people will be impacted by the phenomenon of climate change and rising sea levels. The King Tides Program and community events inform coastal dwellers about twice-yearly extreme tides. Citizens’ photos of king tides are posted on the website.The website helps local communities and decision makers visualize the challenges we will face as the climate changes.

More information:

Kitsap Watershed Stewardship Program

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

Continuing education opportunities deepen Puget Sound shoreline residents’ understanding of intertidal natural history and conservation, shoreline restoration and other watershed issues, building their capacity to inform the public and contribute to local monitoring programs.

WSG, in collaboration with Washington State University’s Kitsap County Extension, coordinates and trains volunteers for the Kitsap Watershed Stewardship Program, which includes:

SoundToxins Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist


The SoundToxins partnership was conceived and initiated by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC-NOAA) and is now directed by WSG. SoundToxin’s roster of partners organizations has grown from four in 2006 to 35 in 2020, with some partners monitoring more than one site along Puget Sound. The SoundToxins program aims to provide sufficient warning of harmful algal bloom (HAB) events to enable early or selective harvesting of seafood, which minimizes the risk to human health and reduces economic losses to community stakeholders, such as Puget Sound fisheries and shellfish growers. SoundToxins is a robust science project involving more than a hundred trained community, tribal, industry, and agency volunteers that regularly document unusual bloom events and new species entering the Salish Sea. WSG specialists provide volunteer coordination, training and communication services for SoundToxins.

To ensure volunteers have current information to help with monitoring, the SoundToxins Manual was revised in 2016. While much of the material is highly technical, this manual also can help educate lay readers about HABs.

Early warning of HABs and adaptive monitoring:

SoundToxins is assisting the State Department of Health by providing early warning of harmful algal bloom events with phytoplankton monitoring. The SoundToxins partnership, through its weekly monitoring of phytoplankton at sites around Puget Sound, enables state officials to target shellfish monitoring at those sites with the greatest risk of HAB toxicity. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or receiving additional information:

State of the Oyster Study: Testing Shellfish for Health and Safety

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

Shellfish need clean water to thrive. Pollutants can destroy their beds, and bacteria taken up by shellfish can sicken people who eat them. WSG’s State of the Oyster Study is a citizen science monitoring program that trains waterfront property owners to test the safety of their shellfish before consumption. Four times a year, residents gather clams and oysters at low tide and bring them to WSG to be tested for Vibrio parahaemolyticus and bacterial indicators of fecal contamination. WSG then helps participants interpret the test results and, if necessary, works closely with them to identify and remedy sources of contamination.

The WSG Well Education and Testing program (WET)

WET is offered in tandem with the State of the Oyster Study. Testing your well water is the best way to identify possible contamination. The WSG WET provides homeowners with a local, inexpensive way to test well water.

Well Education Testing (WET)

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

WET invites you to look at the health of your well and learn how to keep your drinking water safe. The Washington State Department of Health recommends testing of individual wells annually for fecal coliform bacteria; testing your water is the best way to identify any contamination. WET provides homeowners with a local, inexpensive way to do the testing.

Four times a year, residents can submit drinking water samples to WSG to be tested for bacterial indicators of fecal contamination. WSG then helps participants interpret the test results and, if necessary, works closely with them to identify and remedy sources of contamination.

WSG Crab Team: Green Crab Monitoring Program

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is considered one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. Its impacts on the Washington Coast appear to have been minimal to date, but its potential effects on inland ecosystems are uncertain.

Following the discovery of green crab just west of Victoria, B.C., in 2012, WSG teamed up with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and other partners to establish a volunteer monitoring program — the WSG Crab Team — in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This program works in tandem with an outreach campaign to increase the likelihood of detecting green crab infestations early.

After the WSG Crab Team detected the first green crab on San Juan Island in 2016, they expanded to 54 monitoring sites. Additional green crab were subsequently found in Padilla Bay, Sequim Bay and Whidbey Island by WSG Crab Team and volunteers or professional agency or tribal staff that were advised by the team. These are the first confirmed captures of  green crab along Washington’s inland shorelines. Such early detection offers the best chance for controlling the green crab and protecting important natural resources.

Learn more about preventing a crustacean invasion.

Enjoy this story map for more indepth information.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer monitor: