St. Andrews Bay Watch provides three opportunities for citizens to actively engage in protecting our local estuary.
To volunteer, please contact Program Director, Christina Cantrell at 850.763.4303 or Email
The St. Andrew Bay Watch restores/enhances coastal salt marsh habitat by restoring nature-based living shorelines to areas with eroded shorelines and monitors previously restored shorelines. Volunteers are trained and participate in the following activities:
- Clear sites of debris and unstable trees and failing seawalls and remove existing bulkheads.
- Plant riparian, marsh, and submerged aquatic vegetation.
- Install organic materials such as bio-logs and organic fiber mats.
- Construct oyster reefs or “living breakwaters” that dissipate wave energy before it reaches the shore
- Provide maintenance activities including debris removal, replanting vegetation, adding additional sand fill and ensuring that the organic and structural materials remain in place and continue to stabilize the shoreline
- For an additional summery of the program, click here
Water Quality Sampling
St Andrew Bay Watch has actively monitored the water quality of St. Andrew Bay since 1989 with the help of community volunteers. The data collected by our volunteers is used to understand pollution sources in St. Andrew Bay and how the quality of the water has affected the biological resource of the Bay, including how the water quality affects the recovery of seagrasses as well as scallop and oyster recruitment in the Bay. Volunteers perform the following activities:
- Collect these data at each station: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity, secchi depth.
- Record conditions including weather, tide codes, sea conditions and precipitation.
- Collect water samples to evaluate turbidity, nutrients and chlorophyll .
The sampling locations can be found here . Volunteers with boat access are vital to this effort and are trained by our scientific staff prior to sampling.
Grasses In Classes
St. Andrews Bay Watch Grasses in Classes (GIC) program instills a love of the outdoors and the environment in Bay County’s youth by providing them with the opportunity to participate in high impact watershed experiences that include into monthly classroom learning programs along with field experiences.
This hands-on learning program works directly with Bay County School district middle and high school students at the Deane Bozeman School and North Bay Haven Charter Academy in Bay County Florida. Currently, the GIC program reaches approximately 400 students and 4 teachers each year. Volunteers teach the students important lessons regarding environmental protection including:
- Wetland and coastal conservation and restoration
- Water quality for shellfish beds
- Environmental education
- Reduction of nutrient inputs into coastal ecosystems
- Coastal community resiliency
The program culminates in an end of year restoration project to” Stem the Tides” along St. Andrew Bay. Participants in the GIC program are engaged in hands-on, student centered environmental learning that increases environmental awareness and alters behaviors that will lead to a more sustainable future for the next generation of watershed stewards. Volunteers are recruited and trained to assist with the implementation of the monthly programs.
JOIN THE BOARD
We’re always looking for volunteers to assist with a variety of administration positions, including board of directors, membership, outreach, publicity and more! Reach out today and see how you can get involved.