Volunteer Opportunities

Helping to prevent the spread of invasive species provides a wonderful variety of opportunities. Volunteering includes lots of fun stuff, from learning to identify invaders, mapping species, educating others about invasive species, growing bio-control beetles, to eliminating the invasive species in our area. 

Clean Boats, Clean Waters

With the growing problem of the spread of aquatic invasive species between Wisconsin’s lakes, many concerned citizens are looking for ways to get involved. The Clean Boats, Clean Waters volunteer watercraft inspection program is an opportunity to be on the front line of defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Through the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, volunteers are trained to educate boaters on how and where invasive species are most likely to hitch a ride into water bodies. With the new invasive species laws that went in to effect in 2009, it is especially important that we educate our boaters about the new rules. Volunteers also perform boat and trailer checks for invasive species, distribute informational brochures and collect and report any new water body infestations. It’s a great way to spend a few hours at a lake on a nice summer day. Come and join us! 

Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

The Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) goals are to collect high-quality data, educate and empower volunteers, and share this data and knowledge. Some volunteers can like to measure water clarity and collect chemistry, temperature, and dissolved oxygen data. Other volunteers prefer to identify and map native plants and identify and map invasive species.

Woodland Dunes Nature Center staff and the aquatic invasive species coordinators for Calumet and Manitowoc Counties provide volunteers with the necessary equipment and training. Volunteers provide their time, expertise, energy and a willingness to share information with their lake association or other lake users. The information gathered by the volunteers is used by DNR lake biologists, fisheries experts, and water regulation and zoning staff, as well as by UW-Extension, lake associations and other interested individuals. For additional information on Lake Monitoring, visit the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network website.

If you would like to become a local volunteer, email Tom Ward.

River Alliance of WI, Project RED

Project RED stands for "Riverine Early Detectors". Much like the CLMN program for our lakes, Project RED focuses the attention on our rivers. Wisconsin’s rivers are also vulnerable to invasion by invasive species, from Eurasian water milfoil to Japanese knotweed and beyond. Volunteers learn how to detect invasives early, while eradication or containment is still possible. Early detection is the best protection for our waterways, and volunteers are invaluable.

Project RED provides you with the necessary tools to be a Riverine Early Detector. The work is easy and fun. You can use this activity to become more familiar with your river or stream and to engage your friends and neighbors. During a free training we will teach you to monitor your river by canoe, kayak, or on foot. We will help you choose locations and a monitoring schedule that are convenient. We will also provide you with online data management tools to help you report and map your findings. If you identify an invasive in your riparian corridor, we can also help you take the next step of eradication or containment!

For additional information on Project RED, visit the Wisconsin River Alliance website.

Project RED is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Institute for Invasive Species Science and the River Alliance of Wisconsin.