Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: Garbage in our oceans can negatively affect our health, kill marine animals, harm wildlife and injure swimmers and beachgoers. If you enjoy the coastal life and appreciate the beauty of the ocean, volunteering for a cleanup could be a chance to give back while enjoying the sound of waves.

Amava Take: Prevention goes a long way but there is a backlog of beach cleanup needed and continual maintenance necessary to keep even the best plan operational. The work is mostly along local coastlines although if you have specific expertise, this type of cleanup could take you anywhere.

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

Ambitious people who can recruit friends to pitch in and help out for a cause that’s under the sea but affects every facet of our lives.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Be ready to take on a hands-on role as many of the local, smaller cleanups are grassroots organizations with more passion than people-power.

What’s a typical schedule like?

Weekends rule unless it’s an organized getaway and even then it’s usually a dawn to dusk schedule if the weather is good. 

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Little things, like learning the difference between river otters and sea otters and coming back to a spot the next day and seeing the results.

How would you describe the hard parts?

When a crew spends days at a beach picking up people-created summer waste. It keeps rolling in with every wave and it seems like an endless job.

Would you recommend this volunteer job to others?

If you love the ocean, there’s truly no better way to spend time giving back to Mother Nature.

Special requirements: Short of having special biology or engineering skills, most ocean and beach cleanups are regional or national organizations looking for energetic people who can get things done.

Finding a position: Clean Ocean Action is a national organization that needs feet-on-the-sand help as well as behind the scenes assistance. Surfrider Foundation organizes beach cleanups nationwide and has a special plastics pollution program. 4 Ocean and the Ocean Conservatory both have beach clean-ups happening worldwide.