Category Archives: Delaware

Volunteers Count Crabs

ID-100292377Image courtesy of Elwood W. McKay III at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

by Robert Barossi

Environmental volunteers are invaluable when it comes to gathering important and essential data. In many cases, that data relates to wildlife populations. How many of the species are living in an area? Where are they living? Are they migrating? If so, when and to where? These kinds of questions are answered by dedicated volunteers, who often do the work at all hours of the day and night, in all sorts of weather conditions. In Delaware, volunteers are monitoring populations of horseshoe crabs, a species that is important to the ecosystem and to the human population. According to the story, “The fishing industry uses horseshoe crabs for bait. Migratory birds eat their eggs. And biomedical companies use their blue blood to make a special clotting agent.” These are just a few reasons why volunteers are wading out in to the water every night to count the crabs. They’re also paying special attention to the health of the female population who are spawning. This is especially important data which will help scientists gain an understanding of the health and the future of the horseshoe crab.

You can check out the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for more information.

If you’ve enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, download my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Volunteering for Wildlife

Lizard1(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Another two-story post this morning. Not sure why, but these kinds of stories are everywhere today: citizen science stories. As one of these articles mentions, volunteers are doing the work that professional scientists just aren’t able to. That is, there just aren’t enough scientists in enough places with enough time and money to collect all of this vital data. As this story out of Iowa points out, it’s citizen scientists who are out there, across that state, collecting data on numerous species. The Department of Natural Resources in Iowa is planning to start training more volunteers to be wildlife monitors because the need is so great. One thousand miles to the East, in Delaware, citizen scientists are being trained for similar programs across that state. This article refers to these volunteers as the “backbone” of programs which gather essential data on many species. That state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is also seeking more volunteers, needed to monitor species ranging from the horseshoe crab to the osprey, and many in between.

 

If you’ve enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, check out my eBook, Being Where You  Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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BeingFinal

Appreciating and Honoring Volunteers

436(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I feel pretty confident in saying that not one of the volunteers I interviewed for my book ever did anything for any kind of public recognition, attention or reward. Volunteers do what they do for a myriad of reasons but it’s almost never for the recognition, even though they often deserve it. Most, if not all, organizations do recognize and reward or thank their volunteers, often with an annual event or ceremony of some kind. This story from Delaware’s Cape Region, found on CapeGazette.com, describes on such event. According to the article, “Wetland Warrior Award, now in its seventh year, is presented annually to a citizen, organization, or business that has demonstrated exemplary efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands in the areas of outreach and education, monitoring and assessment, or restoration and protection.” From the sound of it, this years recipients truly deserved the recognition.