The Summer Environmental Volunteer Program was created by the Town of Brewster Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2007 with the idea of linking community service with environmental stewardship.
The Brewster DNR focuses on water quality, shellfish enforcement/aquaculture, land management, and waterways safety. It has been our mission to educate high school students about preserving, protecting, and enhancing Cape Cod’s natural resources. Our goal for our volunteers is to have fun, give back to the community, and discover Cape Cod – all while learning and building skills.
Many of the projects you will be involved with take place outside in varying weather conditions. We try to incorporate hands-on training and experiential learning with everything we do. There are three main focus areas that our projects fall in to: Shellfish/Aquaculture Propagation, Land Management, and Water Quality.
Shellfish/Aquaculture Propagation – We run two shellfish farms in Cape Cod Bay that require routine maintenance done at low tide.
The farms are located at Ellis Landing and Mants Landing. Much of the work involves sorting the oysters according to size and culling out the empty shells. Every summer in June and ending the first week of September, the DNR runs a quahog stocking program where we stock an area with quahogs for recreational shellfishing. This is always a highlight for our volunteers because most of the work is done in Cape Cod Bay in our work boat.
Volunteers will learn about the life-cycle of certain species of shellfish, learn how to run and maintain a shellfish farm, perform general maintenance and repair of shellfish gear and equipment, and understand the importance of protecting and managing this valuable resource. Volunteers will also Volunteers will also check mooring permits by going out on the flats by foot during low tide or by boat.
Land Management– The Town owns hundreds of acres of conservation land designated for passive recreation and open space.
Part of the volunteer experience here will be habitat restoration, invasive species removal, trail maintenance, and wildfire fuel reduction.
Water Quality – Keeping our waters clean and healthy is a very important part of what we do. Summer volunteers will assist with taking water samples from both the land and from boats in ponds throughout Brewster as well as weekly in Cape Cod Bay. Volunteers will gain valuable hands-on experience in the areas of field sampling, data entry, operating motor and non-motorized vessels, community outreach, and boat maintenance.. Volunteers will gain valuable experience in the areas of land management, proper tool use and cleaning, trail construction, species identification, and light carpentry.check mooring permits by going out on the flats by foot during low tide or by boat.
Click here to view the Summer Volunteer Brochure 2014