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Dive in and volunteer

Published on February 20, 2018 3:22PM

Photos courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium

Photos courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium

Normally, when SCUBA divers exchange tips on the best diving spots, they talk in terms of landmarks or GPS co-ordinates. Rarely do you get a street address.

But 2820 SE Ferry Slip Road, Newport, has developed quite a reputation for calm, crystal clear water and an abundance of animals.

These fantastic conditions are found every day inside the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where more than 150 divers come to volunteer once every three weeks.

Volunteers have been an integral part of the aquarium’s mission since it opened 25 years ago. Volunteer roles include public interpretation of exhibits, preparing animal diets, diving Passages of the Deep for animal observation and habitat maintenance, and contributing to education in the classroom. Youth volunteers take a lead in conservation education in the summer months while exploring marine careers.

Anyone interested in spending an exciting summer on the aquarium’s volunteer team can learn more at one of three upcoming outreach events.

The aquarium will host a Volunteer Dive Recruiting Day on Saturday, March 3, followed by an Interpreter, Concierge and Youth Volunteer Recruitment Day on Saturday, April 14.

And on Saturday, March 10, the aquarium will be among the local non-profits with booths at the Lincoln County Volunteer Fair, running from 10 am to 2 pm, at Newport Recreation Center, 225 Avery Street.

A volunteer’s schedule and training is dependent upon their position and duties. Interpretive volunteers collectively connect with more than 400,000 visitors each year and ensure that guests leave the aquarium with a better understanding of and appreciation for the coast. Speaking on behalf of animals and their environments is no simple task, which is why the aquarium treats these volunteer recruits to a three-day crash course on the coastal and marine fauna of Oregon, beginning on May 5.

Additional perks for volunteers include complimentary aquarium membership and free passes, invitations to participate in exclusive lectures and continuing education programs, discounts at the Wildlife Trading Company gift shops and more

For more information, go to aquarium.org or contact the aquarium’s Volunteer Services department at volunteer@aquarium.org.

To become one of the newest voices for Oregon’s marine and coastal animals, fill out an online application at ocaq.news/2EMqPlv.

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