Volunteer Opportunities in the Hudson River Estuary
Citizen Stewardship Volunteer Opportunities
The Hudson River Estuary Program protects and improves the natural and scenic Hudson River watershed for all its residents. You can help! Volunteers can get involved in any of the following opportunities.
Download our Citizen Stewardship Volunteer Opportunities handout (PDF) (900 KB)
Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Project
In early spring, forest amphibians move from their woodland habitat to breed in vernal pools, often making dangerous road crossings. Volunteers can help conserve salamanders, frogs, and toads by moving them to safety during migrations; locating high-mortality crossings; and collecting data on this spring phenomenon. Following guidance on the DEC website, volunteers survey roads or known crossings for a few hours during "Big Night" migrations, usually in late March or early April. All ages are welcome, but younger volunteers should be closely supervised due to road safety concerns. In partnership with Cornell University. Visit the Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings webpage or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP)
Frog and toad populations around the world are declining due to habitat loss, climate change, fungal disease, and contaminants. Monitoring programs that keep track of where frogs and toads are, and how they are doing, will be a critical part of their conservation and long-term sustainability. Volunteers drive a pre-determined route just after sunset 4 times throughout the spring and summer and listen for calling frogs and toads for 5 minutes at each of the 10 stops on the route. Prior training is provided, and passing an online quiz on identifying frog and toad calls is required. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Visit the North American Monitoring Program webpage or contact: FrogandToad@gw.dec.state.ny.us
American Eel Research
With the decline of American eels on the east coast, research is critical to understand the behavior and habitats of the juvenile "glass eels" that migrate from the Sargasso Sea to the Hudson River tributaries in order to conserve them. Teams of scientists, community volunteers, and students go to their sites on designated days in April and May and record data on glass eels, measure environmental conditions, and release the eels to continue their journey. All volunteers under 18 are accompanied by an adult experienced in the eel research project. On-site training is provided. In partnership with the Hudson River Research Reserve. Visit the Eel Project webpage
River Herring Monitoring Program
River herring stocks along the east coast are declining, likely due to a combination of dams, water quality issues, invasive species, over fishing, bycatch losses, and increases in predator populations. Monitoring Hudson River tributaries will help to determine the extent of their use by migratory river herring during spring spawning months. Volunteers visit their local tributary twice a week from April 1st to May 31st, and observe the stream for fifteen minutes, monitoring for signs of river herring. River herring identification training is provided. Visit the Herring Monitoring Program webpage or contact: email@example.com
"Trees for Tribs"
The Hudson River Estuary Program's "Trees for Tribs" initiative is a program that offers free native plants to landowners who qualify for stream buffer restoration projects. The program was developed to reforest unhealthy stream buffers along tributaries ("tribs") in the Hudson River estuary watershed. "Trees for Tribs" hosts volunteers for seedling potting events in late April at NYSDEC Region 3 Office in New Paltz and tree planting throughout the Hudson Valley in May. All ages are welcome, but younger volunteers must be accompanied by an adult. On-site training is provided. Visit the Trees for Tribs webpage
Hudson River Cooperative Angler Program
Calling all Hudson River anglers! The NYSDEC Hudson River Fisheries Unit is looking for help monitoring our striped bass population. The Atlantic States Fisheries Commission requires each state to run a Cooperative Angler Program (CAP) to help collect statistical data useful in estimating the size of striped bass stocks. Anglers volunteer to keep a fishing logbook throughout the striped bass season (March 16th -November 30th). We send each participant a logbook at the start of the season, and they record date, time, general location, and catch during fishing trips on the Hudson between the George Washington Bridge and the Troy Dam. At the end of the season, anglers receive a summary of all the information from the returned diaries. If you are interested in participating, or know someone that might be, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wadeable Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE)
How healthy is your stream? Help NYS DEC find out! Join the WAVE: Wadeable Assessment by Volunteer Evaluators (PDF) (181 KB). The WAVE assessment can be performed by most everyone. Our citizen monitors visit a stream during July - September; collect and identify stream organisms; and preserve one example for each organism for identification by the WAVE Coordinator. WAVE data are included in federal and state water quality reports and are used to target NYS DEC assessments and local restoration efforts to where they are most needed. To become a citizen monitor for WAVE, register for a training session. For more information, contact Wave@gw.dec.state.ny.us.