Since the Aquarium opened in 1977, volunteers have contributed 1,777,000 hours of service in support of the Aquarium’s mission. In 2019 alone, 1,228 community members recorded more than 103,000 volunteer hours. We thank our volunteers every day for their service, but this week—which happens to be National Volunteer Week—we want to highlight the contributions of these hardworking ocean conservation heroes. We can’t wait to welcome them back when we’re able to reopen to the public!
If you’ve visited the Seattle Aquarium, you’ve interacted with an Aquarium volunteer. At our entrance, you’ve likely met one of our greeters, offering a map and a welcoming smile. As you’ve traveled through the exhibits, our volunteers in blue Aquarium shirts have been at the ready to share information about sea stars, anemones, otters and more—all while asking people to consider their role in marine conservation. Inside the exhibits, you’ve likely seen volunteer divers serving up underwater high fives and introducing visitors to rockfish and wrasses. If you’ve visited during one of our daytime special events like Marine Mammal Mania or Winter Fishtival, you’ve had opportunities to learn from volunteers hosting activities throughout the Aquarium. And if you’ve joined us for Aquarium After Hours, Splash! or other evening events, you’ve met our volunteer hosts who are there to ensure you have a great time while learning about marine life and supporting the Aquarium.
Behind the scenes on any day that we’re open to the public, Life Sciences volunteers provide compassionate care for the animals who reside at the Aquarium. Volunteers in our lab examine water quality, search samples for tiny microplastics and contribute to the Aquarium’s research. We are really missing their valuable contributions and companionship right now!
In the community, you might have met and learned from a Cedar River Salmon Journey volunteer naturalist on the banks of the Cedar River or at the Ballard Locks as you watched majestic migrating salmon. During the spring and summer, you may have seen our Beach Naturalist volunteer naturalists sharing the wonders of the nearshore with visitors to our local beaches. On beaches and in natural spaces, you might have happened across Aquarium volunteers doing beach cleanups, restoring native habitats and/or planting trees. Aquarium volunteers even advocate for ocean-friendly policies in Olympia and in cities across the region.
Seattle Aquarium volunteers reach nearly a million people annually, sharing our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.
To each and every one of our volunteers: the support you provide through your time, your energy, your passion and your willingness to learn and grow with us makes the Aquarium a more engaging and effective organization. The love you share for the ocean and marine conservation is noticed, appreciated and cherished. Thank you, every day and always, for your service in support of our shared mission. We miss you more than we can say and can’t wait to see you again.
If you’re interested in joining the Seattle Aquarium’s remarkable community of volunteers, visit our volunteer page.