|Volunteering can be FUN!|
|Go Green article originally from Going Green Tampa www.goinggreentampa.com|
|Written by EnviroGirlJulia|
|Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:23|
My experience as a volunteer with Tampa Bay Watch.
Over the past few years my daughter and I have spent many hours getting filthy bagging oyster shells, planting sea grass and educating people about Tampa Bay Watch and their goals.
Tampa Bay Watch is a non-profit stewardship program that strives to improve the quality of water in the Tampa Bay area. They host regular events with a large group of volunteers that are dedicated to improving the water quality in the Tampa Bay area and educating people about the rehabilitation of our local waterways.
What did I do when I volunteered?
I bagged oyster shells. The first step in this process was to take the large roll of mesh and cut it into roughly 3 foot long sections and tie the end. We used these bags to place the oyster shells into. This is where the kids love to help out. They can help measure the length and tie the knots.
Measuring and cutting the bags.
Although the pile of shells is almost gone in the picture below this picture was taken after 15 to 20 people spent about an hour shoveling the shells into black mesh bags that covered the PVC pipes. The PVC pipes were then lifted, the shells fell into the bag and then we tied the bags into knots.
The bottom of the shell pile.
Once the bags are filled with oyster shells they are knotted at the top and stacked to be placed on the boat.
The completed bags waiting for the boat ride.
Now it’s time to take the bagged shells on a little boat ride to their final destination.
Shells in the boat ready for a ride.
Once we arrived at the planned location it’s time to drop the bags in the water along the shoreline. Once in the water the shells will stay there and create a new habitat for oysters and fish. The oysters attach to the bags and clean the water; they also prevent the shoreline from washing away any further.
Can you see the bagged shells in the water along the shoreline?
Let’s save the little critters in our bays, they need our help! Cleaner water in our bays equals a more diverse and stable ecosystem.
What else did I do with Tampa Bay Watch?
I planted seagrass. Planting and harvesting seagrass is another common activity hosted by Tampa Bay Watch. I have not harvested seagrass yet; I have only planted seagrass. The seagrass is also used to help clean the water and preserve shorelines. It was dirty and a little stinky, but I know it helped clean this water and keep the soil from washing away when the water rose.
My daughter and I digging holes for the new sea grass.
A broad view of the area we helped to restore. The entire area was both sides of the shore as far as you can see. There were about 30 volunteers participating in this event.
Tampa Bay Watch is always looking for volunteers. They usually have at least 1 event a month when it is warm outside. During the spring they usually have 2 to 3 events a month. They are a great bunch of caring people to work with. I have always had a good time.
If you have a little free time and want to help out, register on their site. https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/TampaBayWatch/OnlineVolunteer.html
For more information about Tampa Bay Watch visit: http://www.tampabaywatch.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=content.home&...
Photos are mine, if you wish to use them, please ask. If you have any questions feel free to email me at EnviroGirlJulia@Gmail.com