When you visit the Aquarium, you complete your ticket transaction with a cashier, who is a paid employee. But, after that, chances are good that every person you will talk to in the Aquarium is a volunteer. They’re the knowledgeable friendly folks wearing the green shirts.
We have 280 active volunteers, who contribute some 25,000 hours to the Aquarium each year. Several have been volunteering here for nearly all 25+ years that we have existed. Some have given more than 8,000 hours of their time.
Our volunteers are stationed at the Intertidal Touch Tank, the Shark & Ray Touch Pool, the seal exhibit, “Jiggle A Jelly,” the Information Booth and other spots. They’re the ones who help you safely touch a horseshoe crab, shark or jellyfish; who help you identify which seal is which; who tell you how to get to the IMAX Theater or “Meerkats.”
Thus, it is the volunteers who most actively share information about – and enthusiasm for – the Aquarium’s animals. Considering that The Maritime Aquarium’s mission is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment, you can see that our volunteers are very important in fulfilling our role.
Everyone who volunteers must complete a five-week training course before they can don the green shirt. Volunteering on weekdays is a great way for retirees to keep active. Weekend shifts are perfect for teenagers and adults who are tied up Monday through Friday.
Our volunteers help us in all we do. They’re here during the evening for corporate parties, proms, wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs and Scout sleepovers. They help out with our third-floor office work. They help at our off-site appearances, like the booth at the Oyster Festival.
The Maritime Aquarium wouldn’t be able to be The Maritime Aquarium without them. So, again, to our volunteers we say “THANK YOU!”
Thirty-one people just completed the spring Volunteer Training Course. The next session is in June. Interested in signing up? Visit our website or email Lisa Slinsky, our assistant director of Volunteers & Community Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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