TBNMS Volunteer Program
Become a Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary volunteer and see the difference you can make!
What We Do
Without the help and support of volunteers we would not be able to accomplish all we do. The TBNMS Volunteer Program strives to:
- Provide a hands-on opportunity for the public to become involved in the protection and preservation of their Sanctuary;
- Support public education and awareness efforts on how we all may be better stewards;
- Increase community participation in the research collection, the visitor center, the community boat building program, education, office and administrative tasks, and in representing the Sanctuary at certain events and functions.
Ways to Get Involved
There are many different ways to get involved with the Sanctuary. Find the one that meets your needs!
- Visitor Center Support – Exhibits at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center are designed to be self-guided, however, volunteers acting as docents can greatly enhance visitors’ experiences through guided tours. In addition, volunteers are needed to welcome visitors, give a brief introduction of the sanctuary and the exhibits, inform visitors of the different aspects of the exhibits, answer general questions, be a presence in the sanctuary store, and provide general assistance to the sanctuary staff.
- Research Collection Aid – Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary jointly manages one of the largest collections of Great Lakes maritime history in existence, donated by Pat Labadie and June Perry in 2003. In addition, TBNMS houses the states maritime archaeology collection headed by Wayne Lusardi. Volunteer tasks include organizing and archiving research material, preserving historic photographs and articles, and conserving maritime artifacts.
- Boat Building – Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary sponsors the Thunder Bay Community Boat Building Program. This is a program run by volunteers from the community for the community. Currently there are two volunteer opportunities in this program – fund-raising and boat building. Every year the Thunder Bay Community Boat Building Program builds a boat or canoe to be raffled to raise funds for sanctuary education programs. Volunteers meet at selected times during the week to work on the boat/canoe until it’s completed (usually a period of about two months). Once completed, ticket sales begin and the raffle is held at the Thunder Bay Maritime Festival on the 4th of July.
- Special Events – Every year Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary participates in various community-oriented events in addition to hosting the Maritime Festival on the Fourth of July. Volunteers are needed to help make these events successful.
- Education Assistant – One of the most effective ways the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects its maritime heritage resources is by educating the public about the importance of the resources and the laws that protect them. Many of the sanctuary’s educational initiatives are geared toward young people – youths in kindergarten through high school. Volunteers are needed to help direct and assist with educational activities planned by the education coordinator.
- Continuing education and training
- Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event
- Great experiences you won’t find anywhere else
Our staff will work with you to find a project that engages your talents and inspires your involvement!
Join Us! Ready to get involved?
Contact: Steph.Gandulla@noaa.gov or 989-356-8805 x38.