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Make a Splash as an Aquarium Volunteer

Volunteers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium help support community education and the rescue and rehabilitation of local wildlife.

Do you want to give back to your community, but aren't sure where or how to start?

To make it easy for you to connect with organizations in need, Patch is running a special end-of-year series, The 12 Days of Volunteering. Through Jan. 1, we will bring you one volunteer opportunity a day from a local nonprofit group. 

Day 12:

Perhaps best known as the home of Winter the Dolphin, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium provides wildlife rescue and rehabilitation to local animals in need. Volunteers work alongside staff members and interns to provide educational opportunities for the community and to assist with the operation and upkeep of the facilities.

There are volunteer opportunities at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in the following areas, according to the aquarium website:

  • Animal care
  • Sea turtles
  • Aquatics/water quality
  • Guest services
  • Front desk and membership desk
  • Gift shop
  • Education
  • Hospitality

The aquarium also has a summer sea turtle nesting volunteer program and special volunteer opportunities for divers and youths.

To become a volunteer, register for an orientation session, then fill out an application and take it with you. The next orientation session is at 7 p.m. Jan. 11.

The aquarium, which is currently raising money for a $12 million expansion, also accepts donations and other kinds of support, including:

  • Annual memberships
  • Adopt An Animal program
  • School fundraisers
  • Boat/automobile donations
  • Corporate partnerships
  • Winter's paver path program
  • Animal care fund

Donations to the aquarium are tax deductible. For information on giving to the aquarium, and for updates on current projects, visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium website, or call 727-441-1790. The aquarium is at 249 Windward Passage in Clearwater.

About this column: This special 12-day series looks at ways residents can volunteer and make a difference in their communities in 2012.

Kindy Kulosa May 01, 2012 at 02:40 PM
When I was there one of the guides mentioned Dolphin eye cancer. I noticed that the Dolphins spend much more time looking directly into the sun while in captivity then normally in the wild. Have you done anything to fix this problem. This is my concern
Clearwater Marine Aquarium November 12, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Hello Kindy, I apologize for the delayed response. Thank you for your concern. It should first be noted that dolphins have eye-lids, just like you and me. Here, at the aquarium, all of our dolphins are protected by shaded structures, such as covers and canopies, the majority of the day. They are well protected from the sun and in the best possible care. Thanks again for your message.

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