Volunteering & Internships

volunteer save the bay

There are many ways for groups and individuals to get involved! Visit our signup form to register for any volunteer opportunity. For Save The Bay Swim volunteering, click on the Join an Event tab. For the internship application process, click on the Internships tab. You can also join our email list to get announcements of the latest opportunities!

What Are Shoreline Cleanups?

Shoreline trash is ugly and dangerous to wildlife, and shoreline cleanups are an easy way for volunteers to make a difference! If you would like to schedule a cleanup for a large group, contact the Volunteer Manager: volunteer@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x130.

Cleanup Requirements: All volunteers should dress for the weather and wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty. Closed-toed shoes are required at all Save The Bay cleanups. All volunteers must be able to do some light to moderate bending and lifting. Volunteers under 16 must participate with an adult. Volunteers must have their own transportation to the event. All volunteers are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle and snacks to the cleanup event. SIGN UP for a cleanup! 

Upcoming Cleanups 

Watchemoket Cove and Bold Point After-Work Cleanup
Approximate address for GPS: 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway, East Providence (MAP)
Tuesday, July 26, 5:30 - 7 PM
This was originally posted as a Watchemoket Cove cleanup, but we had so many signups that we are going to also clean up nearby Bold Point Park!

SIGN UP for a cleanup! 

International Coastal Cleanup

At this global event, volunteers not only clean up the shores, they record what they find. The data is compiled into an annual report on marine debris. The main date is Saturday, September 17 with sites all around the state and alternate dates throughout September and October. SIGN UP for an ICC cleanup or get more information on our ICC web page. Questions? Contact the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x130.

Hold a Cleanup Supply Drive

We need lots of bags, gloves and other supplies for our cleanups! If your business or group would like to collect supplies and donate them to the cleanup effort, contact the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x130.

Save The Bay Events

Save The Bay's volunteer events include everything from habitat restoration work days to the Save The Bay Swim. You can register for any event online, or contact the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x130.

Water Chestnut Removal on the Palmer River

WHAT: Help Save the Bay and the Town of Rehoboth pull invasive water chestnut from Shad Factory Pond!
WHEN: Tuesday, July 19th from 5-7 pm (NOTE: this was originally scheduled for Monday but was postponed due to weather)
WHERE: Shad Factory Dam on the Palmer River. Approximate address for GPS: 53 Reed St, Rehoboth, MA.(this is a private home; the dam is on the opposite side of the street)
HOW to prepare: Bring long pants, rubber boots, sunscreen, work gloves, and water. Canoes and/or kayaks are needed, but we can also pair people up. SIGN UP to volunteer!

Save The Bay Swim: Saturday, August 13

Every year, swimmers cross the Bay from Newport to Jamestown for Save The Bay’s largest annual fundraiser! There are lots of ways to support the event and celebrate the progress we've made toward a clean bay. Volunteers must be 16+ to work independently, and volunteers who are 12+ may volunteer accompanied by a parent. Groups of up to 25 people are welcome. SIGN UP to volunteer! 

Swim Volunteer Training: Volunteers are encouraged to attend our Swim Volunteer Training on Thursday, July 21, 6-7 PM, at 100 Save The Bay Drive in Providence, RI. We will have pizza and go over all the different roles, parking, and more! 


  • Parking: Direct cars and cars with trailers into the parking lot at the Navy Base. This can be fast paced as the swimmers and kayakers arrive to check in for the Swim.
  • Kayak Inspection: Volunteers work with a partner to check kayaks for required length and appropriate equipment, such as life jackets, whistles, paddle & leash, blankets or towels (inspectors will receive instructions).
  • Kayak Unloading: Volunteers assist kayakers in removing their boats in a timely manner for boat inspection.
  • Swimmer Numbering: Each swimmer is numbered on either his or her swim cap and arm. Must have large clear writing and not have a problem with transposing numbers.

JAMESTOWN VOLUNTEERING: 7 AM - 12 PM (except Party Tent, 8:30 AM-1 PM)

  • Parking, Curb and Shuttles: Volunteers will keep the road in front of Potter Cove clear for ambulance parking and pedestrians. They will also help direct people to the shuttle after the swim to head back to Newport.
  • Barrier Monitors: Volunteers are in the water and on the beach, assisting swimmers across the finish line and onto the beach. They are great cheerleaders, applauding the swimmers for their 1.7 mile accomplishment. They will also guard the finish line to prevent spectators from unintentionally interfering with the swimmers’ check in. YOU MUST HAVE WATER SHOES for this role.
  • Swimmer Food Tent/Towels/T-Shirts: This team will provide fruit, drinks, and snacks for swimmers and also give them their towels and t-shirts.
  • Popsicle Stick Team: This team will take the popsicle sticks from swimmers in the water, at the finish line. Two team members will write the swimmer participant number clearly and correctly on the popsicle stick, while the rest will assist by holding bins, collecting sticks, etc. This is how we account for every swimmer’s time and the fact that they are safely out of the water. YOU MUST HAVE WATER SHOES for this role - you will be knee to thigh high water..
  • Kayaker Check Out & Shirts: Volunteers will be in and out of the water (knee to thigh high), collecting athlete pinnies from all of the kayakers that come in off the water from the event. You will need to take the pinnies to the check out table for our staff to mark off that the kayaker has made it to land safely. You will then need to give a Participant Shirt to the kayaker. WATER SHOES REQUIRED.
  • Time Sheet Runners: You’ll be going from the finish boats with paper time sheets, through the water, to the land to drop at the check-out tent. Land Time Sheet Runners will run time sheets from the beach to the results van on the lawn across the street. Volunteers should be meticulous and be comfortable moving safely and swiftly in water or on land. WATER SHOES REQUIRED.
  • Party Tent Volunteers work on the lawn near the Jamestown Bridge authority office, helping to prepare and provide food for hundreds of swimmers, kayakers, spectators, and volunteers. This role starts and ends a little later: 8:30 AM-1 PM.

The Save The Bay Safety Squad is a group of trained and experienced kayakers which acts as an additional safety layer around swimmers and kayakers. Safety Kayakers watch for those who may need assistance and serve as extra eyes on the water.


  • Must be a very experienced and seasoned kayaker
  • Must provide your own kayak and safety equipment (flotation, etc.).
  • Attend an information session before the Swim.

SIGN UP to volunteer! 

Questions? Contact the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x130


Join The Save The Bay Team

Save The Bay welcomes volunteers who can donate their time on a regular basis. Check out all the different ways you can join our team! Register your interest online for any opportunity, or contact the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@savebay.org or 401-272-3540 x130.

Aquarium Docent

Be a docent at the South Coast Center or the Exploration Center & Aquarium! Our docents greet visitors and teach them about marine life, lead craft activities, and more. On-the-job training is provided!

Requirements: Be friendly, outgoing, and willing to learn. Be reliable and able to help out on a consistent basis. Be able to stand up for most of a shift. Docents must be 18+ for the South County Center and 16+ for the Exploration Center. Background check required.

Exploration Center & Aquarium at Easton's Beach in Newport
Location: 175 Memorial Blvd., Newport, RI (map)
Hours: Shifts of 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12:45-4 are available 7 days a week during the summer, and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and public school vacations from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 

SIGN UP to arrange an orientation.

South Coast Center in Westerly
Location: 8 Broad St., Westerly, RI (map)
Hours: The South Coast Center is open Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Shifts are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m and 12 - 3 p.m. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m is also available. NOTE: We are FULL for summer volunteering but have a waiting list for fall. 

SIGN UP to be added to the waiting list for fall!

ESL Translator for Education Programs

Save The Bay's education program provides science, marine and environmental education to students around the Narragansett Bay area. We are seeking volunteers to translate our programming from English to other languages for students who need it. Volunteers will also assist Save The Bay educators with setup, supervision, and general program support.  Help is needed during school hours and afterschool hours.  We are looking for a 3-5 hour/week commitment during the year. Mature high school students are welcome to apply.


  • Experience in education and/or working with children a plus
  • Interest in environmental education and environmental science
  • Fluency or strong proficiency in English and a second language. (Spanish and Portuguese especially needed)
  • Flexible schedule either during school or afterschool hours are available. Specific times and days when we offer programs are changeable. Programs are not offered on weekends.
  • Reliable transportation to Save The Bay's Providence office is required.
  • If you are 18 and over you will need to have a national criminal background check completed 

To sign up, please email Volunteer Manager July Lewis expressing interest. A resume is helpful but not required. 

Storm Drain Marking

Many storm drains flow straight to Narragansett Bay--and many people don't know that! People dump household chemicals and used motor oil into drains without knowing they are polluting the Bay. Be a part of the solution by organizing a Storm Drain Marking project in your community. Save The Bay will provide you with markers that say "Do Not Dump - Drains To Bay", plus adhesive and supplies to complete the project. Excellent for individuals, small groups and community service projects. We are especially seeking volunteers who can work in the Buckeye Brook watershed in Warwick, or in Central Falls. To set up a project, contact volunteer manager July Lewis or use our SIGN UP form. 

Mail Team Volunteers

Want a fun, simple, social volunteer activity? Do you have availability on weekdays? Join our Mail Team and we will contact you the next time we have a big mailing. Stuff, seal and socialize--that's it! SIGN UP to get on the list!


Save The Bay is seeking volunteer photographers to help document our events and program activities. Qualified candidates must have their  own digital, high definition camera. Experience taking action photographs desired. Volunteers will accompany staff and other volunteers to cleanups, buffer/salt marsh plantings, the Annual Swim and other events to document the activities. We provide a list of desired photos. All submitted photos will become the property of Save The Bay to be used in Save The Bay promotional material.

If you are interested in helping out, please send a couple of sample photos to the volunteer manager at volunteer@savebay.org and we’ll arrange dates/events from there.

HTML Volunteer

Save The Bay is seeking a volunteer who is an experienced front-end developer with proficiency in HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and third-party applications to assist in advancing the usability and functionality of Save The Bay's main website and email communications. Projects may include: code cleanup on existing website and code assistance; optimization (mobile, search, speed, browser, etc...); creation of new pages and templates; creation of various interactive experiences; analysis of website metrics and goals. Flexible hours, and a commitment of at least a month preferred. Please contact the Volunteer Manager at volunteer@savebay.org with a resume and examples of your work.


About Save The Bay Internships/How To Apply

Save The Bay’s internship program provides college students, recent graduates, graduate students and beginning professionals with practical work experience in the non-profit, environmental sector. Interns contribute to projects, gain insight into the functions of individual departments and learn about the mission of the organization. Save The Bay’s offices are fast paced; we are looking for interns who are able to establish priorities, are organized, can work independently and are committed to environmental stewardship.

Compensation: Save The Bay does not provide stipends for interns unless specifically stated. Many colleges and universities will grant academic credit for internships. Save The Bay will gladly work with your school to see that your credits are approved.

To Apply: Complete the online Internship Application and send a resume, cover letter and contact information for two references to the internship manager at volunteer@savebay.org. Additional materials may be required; please check individual internship descriptions. Applications will be accepted and positions filled on an on-going basis. Once a candidate is selected for the position, he or she will be notified by telephone and email. If you are not selected for an internship, Save The Bay encourages you to volunteer with us and apply again in the future.

UPDATE: Internship positions are full for summer. We are now seeking applicants for fall internships beginning in August or September.

Communications Internship

Reports To: Communications Director

Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI

Dates: This internship is offered year-round. 

Summary of Position: Are you a creative-minded individual looking to develop a career in communications, public relations or marketing? Save The Bay is seeking a highly motivated individual to support Save The Bay’s public relations initiatives. This is a flexible internship that can work with students and graduates with a variety of skills: writing, graphic design, social media, marketing, media relations, analytics, HTML, web design, research, interviewing, or any combination of these. This internship will be approximately 14-21 hours per week. Save The Bay is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide education to the community about protecting and restoring the ecological health of the Narragansett Bay region.

What you will gain:

  • Experience researching, interviewing for, and writing press releases
  • A portfolio of marketing pieces designed to support real-world promotional needs
  • An understanding of branding principles applied in a real-world organizational setting
  • A portfolio of news releases, feature stories, and web content
  • Experience managing media lists, contacts, and online community calendars
  • Integrated marketing plans to support special events and public programs

What we require:

  • Integrated marketing plans to support special events and public programs
  • Computer experience (MS Office, Mac platform, InDesign, Photoshop)
  • Strong writing, editing, and communication skills
  • Strong research skills
  • Experience and proficiency in the applicable skills listed on the position overview
  • Attention to detail, positive attitude and ability to work with quick deadlines and changing priorities


In addition to the standard application materials (see "About Save The Bay Internships/How To Apply" on this page), please submit 1-2 work samples that reflect the internship area on which you wish to focus.

Environmental Education Internship

Reports To: Education Program Manager

Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI

Dates: This internship is offered year-round.

Overview of Position: Are you interested in a career in education? At Save The Bay, our interns assist with environmental educational programs for ages kindergarten through high school, as well as behind-the-scenes administrative work. Interns will also have the opportunity to work at our Newport Aquarium, summer camps, or afterschool programs, depending on interest, season, and availability. Bilingual skills are a strong plus for working with ESL students (especially Spanish or Portuguese).

What you will learn:

  • Effective classroom management
  • Marine science and environmental education methods
  • Knowledge of the Narragansett Bay environment
  • How to generate and update various sets of education reports
  • Curriculum research and development in a team atmosphere
  • Updating teacher and school contacts and information; building lists for potential groups like early childhood, library groups, and other community groups

What we require:

  • Strong interest in environmental education, marine science, and working with children
  • Flexibility and ability to work individually as well as in a team
  • Commitment to at least one day a week, between 2:00-6:00pm, for six to ten weeks
  • Reliable transportation
  • Computer experience with knowledge of MS Word, Excel, and Power Point
  • Strong communication and phone skills
  • Analytical and organizational skills
  • Work well in a high-energy, fast paced environment
  • Must be 16+
  • Interns who are 18+ must undergo a background check.

Education and Aquarist Internship

Reports To: Aquarium Manager & Aquarist

Location: Save The Bay Aquarium, Newport, RI

Dates: This internship is offered year-round.

Overview of position: Are you interested in doing hands-on aquarium work while developing your marine biology education skills? At Save The Bay, we provide interns with the opportunity to work in the Exploration Center Aquarium and educate the public about ocean ecology and wildlife while building a foundation for a career in marine biology and education. Education and Aquarist interns assist in all aspects of running the Exploration Center, including: visitor relations, programming, and animal husbandry.

What you will learn:

    • Marine biology of Narragansett Bay
    • Aquarium maintenance, and the care and feeding of the animals
    • Hands-on environmental educational programming for school groups and visitors
    • Promotion and outreach to local beaches, businesses and shopping areas
    • Visitor relations: greeting visitors, taking admissions and selling merchandise

What we require:

  • Work a minimum of 21 hours per week (summer) or 14 hours per week (fall/winter/spring) including one weekend day per week
  • Undergo a criminal background check
  • Enjoy working with children and have a strong interest in environmental education
  • Have a strong interest in maintaining and cleaning aquarium tanks
  • Interested in or have basic knowledge of small marine animal feeding techniques
  • Creative, reliable, and flexible team member
  • Reliable transportation
  • Prompt arrival for shifts in uniform (provided by Save The Bay)

Events Internship

Reports to: Events Manager

Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI

Dates: This internship is offered April through October.

Overview of position: Are you interested in the world of event planning and want to develop career skills? At Save The Bay, we provide interns with hands-on experience in planning, implementing and running a successful fundraising event. The Events intern will assist in obtaining donations, organizing prizes, setting up and cleaning up for events such as Save The Bay Swim, Artists for the Bay, Annual Golf Outing, and the International Coastal Cleanup.

What you will learn:

  • Vendor outreach regarding details and information for the event
  • Contacting businesses for raffles and sponsorship
  • Tracking in-kind gifts
  • How to manage raffle organization and maintenance
  • Event coordination and set up
  • Management of volunteer events such as shoreline cleanups

What we require:

  • Reliable transportation
  • A positive attitude and ability to work in a team environment
  • Strong communication and writing skills; comfortable speaking to groups and making contact with the general public on Save The Bay’s behalf
  • Ability to occasionally work independently with initiative
  • Attend specific events during the internship
  • Strong organizational skills
  • General office skills including proficiency with computers and the internet

Individuals with experience and background in some aspect of the communications field (marketing, public relations, writing/journalism, media, graphic/Web design, etc.) are preferred. 

Habitat Internship

Reports to: Coastal Ecologist

Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI

Dates: This internship is available March through December.

Overview of position: Are you interested in putting your science and ecology education to work doing hands-on ecological restoration? Save The Bay Habitat Interns gain experience in conducting research, field monitoring, database management, and planning associated with the restoration of Narragansett Bay habitats. Interns will gain an understanding of applied ecological restoration techniques, field monitoring protocols, and environmental problem solving techniques. Interns will also gain experience working with volunteers and collaborating with community organizations.

What you will learn

  • Field work associated with salt marsh restoration
  • Specific field activities may include: pore-water salinity and water table depth monitoring at on-going marsh restoration sites, vegetation monitoring, and fish monitoring
  • Rapid assessment protocol to see how rapid sea level rise is affecting Rhode Island salt marshes
  • Volunteer restoration efforts including salt marsh digging and planting projects
  • Database management: data entry and data analysis of marsh and eelgrass restoration monitoring data

What we require

  • College students, recent graduates, graduate students or beginning professionals working towards or having obtained a BA/BS or higher degree in biology, education, marine studies, or related field
  • Enrollment at an accredited college or university as a junior or above during the term of your internship
  • Computer experience (MS Office)
  • Positive attitude and ability to work indoors and outdoors in a team environment
  • Strong communication skills, writing, and field skills preferred

Non-Profit Development Internship

Reports to: Development Team

Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI

Dates: This internship is offered year-round.

Interested in joining a collaborative team actively cultivating support for Save The Bay? The Development Intern will help support the day-to-day functioning of Save The Bay’s Development Team, assisting in duties related to grant and prospect research, membership development, donor engagement, events, and corporate and community outreach.

What you will learn:

  • Grant and prospect research
  • New member outreach
  • Membership renewal process
  • Event logistics and operations
  • How to fulfill acknowledgement mailings
  • Collaboration with a dynamic development team

What we require:

  • Excellent phone and communications skills
  • Initiative and the ability to work independently
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Work well in a high energy, fast paced environment
  • General office skills including proficiency with computers and the internet

South Coast Center Internship

Reports To: South County Coast Keeper

Location: South Coast Center, Westerly, RI

Dates: This internship is offered year-round.

Overview of position: Are you interested in working at an aquarium? Are you comfortable speaking to groups and answering questions? Do you want to learn more about nonprofit management? At Save The Bay, we provide interns the opportunity to serve as an assistant to the South County Coast Keeper and the Westerly Office. The South Coast Center intern will assist with events in the Westerly area, administrative duties, aquarium care, public programming, and welcoming visitors. This internship will provide an inside look at what it’s like to work for a non-profit in a variety of capacities.

What you will learn

  • How to plan and conduct public outreach events
  • Water quality testing on exhibit tanks
  • Aquarium tank maintenance
  • Administrative task assistance such as; writing, research, data entry and filing

What we require:

  • Reliable transportation
  • Must undergo criminal background check
  • Strong communication and writing skills
  • Work independently on occasion
  • A positive attitude and ability to work in a team environment
  • Comfortable speaking to groups and making contact with the general public on Save The Bay’s behalf
  • Proficiency with computers and the internet
  • Must be available at least two days a week. Days available are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.

Volunteer Management Internship

Reports To: Volunteer & Internship Manager

Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI

Dates: This internship is offered year-round. 

Summary of Position: Are you interested in managing volunteers and organizing events? Do you have excellent communication and writing skills? At Save The Bay, we provide interns with the opportunity to work with 2,000 volunteers annually in a variety of capacities. An internship in the volunteer program will provide students with the skills to organize events, manage & recognize volunteers, promote volunteer opportunities and internships, oversee outreach projects and manage individual volunteer programs.

What you will learn:

  • How to write volunteer and internship descriptions and post on recruitment websites
  • Event and project management
  • Professional communication skills
  • Real-world administrative and office skills
  • Leadership of projects such as beach cleanups and other volunteer events

What we require:

  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Comfortable speaking to groups and making contact with the general public on Save The Bay’s behalf
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Must have ability to occasionally work independently and have initiative
  • Availability to work on some weekends
  • General office skills including proficiency with MS Office and the internet
Eastons Beach Cleanup

Fy 2015 Volunteer Stats

  • 3,403 Volunteers
  • 29,525 Hours
  • $676,602 In-Kind Value

"Volunteering has given me the opportunity to educate myself and others about Narragansett Bay. I plan on using the knowledge I have gained in my future career as a marine biologist." 

- Olivia Ahern, Newport, RI

VOlunteer Updates