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Seek Knowledge and Make a Difference in the Ecosystem

Join the Masters in their Eco Mission
Publication of Discovery: Dec. 31, 2017
Issue: December, 2017

Some volunteer programs facilitate people’s thorough learning about a natural area, its ecosystem or a particular species, and how to continuously be a helping hand to protect and conserve nature and its offspring, or apply sustainable practices. Among the volunteer programs that may allow you to join a group of experts and outstanding organizations in these efforts in the island of Puerto Rico, are the following:

1. Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Volunteer Program

(a) Place where you may volunteer services

Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, located in around 2,800 acres of land in the Municipalities of Salinas and Guayama, Puerto Rico

You may read more information about this natural reserve in an ecotreasures article titled “The Distinguishable Jobos Bay Natural Reserve” (ecotreasures.com/magazine/articles/59).

(b) Administrator

Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is administered by the Puerto Rico Natural and Environmental Resources Department in accordance with a collaborative agreement with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

(c) Volunteer works

Subject to qualification and availability, volunteers may perform tasks related to programs and activities such as:

(i) Research Program,
(ii) Coastal Training Program,
(iii) Environmental Stewardship Program,
(iv) Educational Program,
(v) Management of the Jobos Bay Natural Reserve’s trail system,
(vi) Assistance to the general public at the Jobos Bay Natural Reserve’s Visitors Center, and
(vii) Special events.

For information about volunteer opportunities, available dates and minimum required qualifications, you may contact the Jobos Bay Natural Reserve’s representative specified below.

(d) Website: drna.pr.gov/jbnerr

(e) Contact information

Milton Muñoz Hincapié, P.R. Natural and Environmental Resources Department, T.: 787-853-4617, E.: mmunoz@ drna.pr.gov

2. Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center Volunteer Program

(a) Place where you may volunteer services

Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center in the Municipality of Bayamón, Puerto Rico

You may read more information about this Center in an ecotreasures article titled “360-Degree Nurture at Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center" (ecotreasures.com/magazine/articles/74).

(b) Management alliance

The Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center ("Center") was created as a result of an alliance between the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus, and the Caribbean Stranding Network.

(c) Volunteer works

Subject to qualification and availability, volunteers may perform tasks related to programs such as:

(i) Rescue and Stranding Response Program,
(ii) Rehabilitation and Veterinary Care Program,
(iii) Tanks, Filters and Water Quality Program,
(iv) Manatee Population Research Program, and
(v) Educational Outreach Program.

In general, the volunteer staff may assist in activities such as preparation of the manatees’ food, manatees’ feeding, monitoring tasks with respect to manatees’ rehabilitation, medical treatment and veterinary evaluations, cleaning and maintenance of equipment, materials, boats, and pools as well as water quality monitoring tasks, compilation of data for research purposes, participation in rescue and stranding response activities, and assistance to the Center’s visitors.

For information about volunteer opportunities and available dates, you may contact the P.R. Manatee Conservation Center’s representative specified below.

(d) Minimum required qualifications to participate as a volunteer

(i) To be 16 years old or older, and

(ii) Submit the Curriculum Vitae, volunteer program application, Certificate of Good Conduct (18 years old+), two letters of recommendation, credit transcript from school or university, medical certificate (the Center’s form), an essay according to the Center’s requirements, copy of certificate of immunization status (tetanus), 2” x 2” photo, hold harmless form, and authorization from parent or legal guardian (minors younger than 18 years of age).

You may contact the Center to verify any additional requirements to become a volunteer.

(e) Website: manatipr.org

(f) Contact information

Carla Rivera Pérez, Rescue and Stranding Response Coordinator, P.R. Manatee Conservation Center T.: 787-279-1912, ext. 2070, E.: carly@manatipr.org

3. Tropic Ventures Research and Education Foundation Volunteer Program

For those who would like to rescue a forest in Puerto Rico and learn about sustainable forestry practices, you may read information about Casas de la Selva and Tropic Ventures Research and Education Foundation Volunteer Program in an article titled “Reach Out for the Forest”, published under the “nature encounters” category of this issue of ecotreasures magazine.

Note: The information provided herein is based on information submitted by the volunteer program organizations. Please contact the organizations for any updated information regarding the volunteer programs.

Photographs of manatees were taken under the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center’s authorization, as applicable (under the authority of USFWS Permits # MA231088 and/or MA791721, and PRDNER CSN LOA 2014-2019 and/or PRDNER Endangered Species Scientific Permit).

tour provider: Yourself onto Eco
book here
where the crew ate: At the Volunteer-Service Site
photograph by: Michelle Rodríguez

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all details with the pertinent businesses before planning your trip. Please be cautious. The company behind this publication assumes no responsibility for your safety when participating in the activities mentioned in this article. You are responsible for confirming whether you are capable of participating in any of these activities or tours, regardless of the effort level or any other information provided in this website.

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Michelle Rodríguez, San Juan, P.R.- “Being a volunteer at the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center resulted in a rewarding experience. Contributing to the care given to manatees and sensing that a manatee is grateful for such care was a privilege.”

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