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Get Your Hands Wet Volunteering at the St. Lucie County Aquarium

Post Date:05/10/2019 7:34 AM

Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet new people, learn new things and get involved in your community. Volunteers come from all walks of life, a wide range of ages and are drawn to volunteering at the St. Lucie County Aquarium, not only as a way to give back to the community, but also as a way to immerse themselves in an often life-long interest and passion for the marine world.

“It opens up a whole new world of knowledge for me,” says Harriett Scott, a touch tank volunteer at the Aquarium. “I love interacting with visitors and students and I love being surrounded by staff and volunteers, who are passionate about the lagoon and ocean.”

Exhibit guide Becky Kline agrees: “I like being able to constantly learn new things and then share that knowledge about our local waters with both visitors and locals. I feel like we really make a difference.”

Dee Yehiel, a recent addition to the volunteer team at the aquarium, also feels strongly about being able to share her interest and knowledge. “As a volunteer, it’s nice to learn new things about our local ecosystems and share them with those who visit the St. Lucie County Aquarium,” she said. “I hope that our visitors, young and old, will leave with a greater appreciation for life in our oceans.”

 Janet Howe volunteers as a coral gardener, keeping some of the Aquarium’s coral collection free of algae. She added: “I love the ocean and want to help save the natural world and I really respect (the Aquarium) staff’s compassion towards marine life and the animals in their care. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Many different volunteer opportunities are available at the Aquarium with all of the training provided. Are you interested in learning about our local ecosystems and sharing that knowledge with visitors, camps and school groups? Apply to be an exhibit guide or a touch tank guide. If you are interested in what it takes to maintain our dynamic model ecosystem aquariums, be sure to check out our behind-the-scenes volunteer positions. For those with an artistic bent, the Aquarium is currently looking for photographers and photo editors. Aquarium staff are also currently seeking volunteers for our World Oceans Day Celebration, a one-day family-friendly event on Saturday, June 8. Whatever your talent or interest, aquarium staff would be happy to speak with you about volunteering.

A full list of opportunities at the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit at the St Lucie County Aquarium is available at https://www.si.edu/volunteer. Click on “New Volunteer Opportunities” and then select Florida as the location. From there, you can apply to any position listed. If you have questions or would like to speak with a staff member before applying, please give us a call at 772-465-3271. Volunteers must be age 16 or older.

Upcoming Events at the Aquarium:

  • Sunday, May 12 at 9 a.m. – Family Seining in the Seagrass. Are you interested in local marine life? Discover some of the amazing animals that live in the seagrass beds of the Indian River Lagoon by seining with Smithsonian educators. Never seined before? No problem. Staff will teach you how. Advanced payment is required for this program which will include Aquarium admission at $6 adults, $5 children for non-members; and $5 adults, $4 children for members. Participants will be welcomed to come back to the Aquarium after the program for regular hours: noon to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 16 at 9 a.m. – Storytime Under the Sea. Enjoy our storytime program with a different marine theme for each program. Songs, crafts and games make this a great program for kids under the age of 4. Price is $4 adults, $3 children, and includes admission to the Aquarium.
  • June 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Come celebrate World Oceans Day at the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit at the St Lucie County Aquarium. This family-friendly event will feature activities, crafts, a beach clean-up exhibitors, seining programs, behind the scenes tours and more.

The Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit is located in the St. Lucie County Aquarium at 420 Seaway Drive on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce. The Smithsonian Marine Station has teamed with St. Lucie County and other community partners to create this unique educational facility. The Exhibit is an outreach effort of the Smithsonian Marine Station, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.  A fixture in the Fort Pierce community for more than 45 years, the Marine Station is dedicated to understanding the character and diversity of the marine and estuarine habitats of Florida. For more information, visit www.stlucieco.gov/Aquarium

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