One in four Americans volunteers for an organization. One in every three Mainers does.
On January 28, Friends of Casco Bay celebrated 25 years of volunteers protecting Casco Bay. The conservation organization, founded by volunteers, showed its gratitude at the 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration and Annual Members Meeting, held at USM’s Abromson Center in Portland. Friends of Casco Bay could not succeed without its valued volunteers, who help to clean beaches, stencil storm drains, and even stuff envelopes for fundraising. Of special note are the 79 volunteer Water Quality Monitors who devoted ten Saturdays in 2013 collecting critical data on the health of Casco Bay.
At the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, seven of these citizen scientists were recognized for reaching milestones in monitoring Casco Bay:
20 years—Joan Greene of Yarmouth and Mike Doan of South Portland
15 years—Roberta Brezinski of Durham
5 years—Nan Bragg of Yarmouth, Sarah Coburn of Portland, Charlotte Rosenthal of Freeport, and Jeannie Wester of Yarmouth.
Citizen Stewards Coordinator Peter Milholland trains and supports Friends of Casco Bay’s volunteers. He says, “Being a volunteer with us enables you to meet like-minded people, learn new skills, feel fulfilled, and have fun while you make a difference in the health of Casco Bay.”
Anyone interested in volunteering with Friends of Casco Bay can view a list of opportunities at cascobay.org/volunteer. If you’d like to become a Water Quality Monitor, contact Peter atpmilholland [at] cascobay [dot] org or (207) 799-8574 by March 15. Training for new Water Quality Monitors takes place Saturday, April 12.
Friends of Casco Bay/Casco Baykeeper, based in South Portland, works to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay through research, advocacy, education, and collaborative partnerships.