Bays Sampling
Elizabeth 5


Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC) is a non-profit organization working to restore and preserve clean water in Barnstable. Continuing to build on 20 years of water quality monitoring in the Three Bays estuary, BCWC has expanded the geographic scope of its education, monitoring, mitigation and advocacy programs to protect our ponds, rivers, bays and estuaries.

There are many ways to get involved with Barnstable Clean Water Coalition. You can...


A variety of volunteer opportunities await you at Barnstable Clean Water Coalition. Whether you are a college student, a recent retiree, or a full-time worker, your skills, knowledge and time will be utilized to their fullest. We welcome volunteers who have a positive attitude, lots of energy and a passion for the local waters and lands that surround them.

Volunteer opportunities we offer include:


River Herring Counter (April - June)

  • Monitor herring passing up the Mill and Middle Pond Fish Ladders in Marstons Mills and the Boat Cove Creek fish ladder in West Barnstable
  • Herring are counted daily from April 1st thru early June, between 7am and 7pm, at each fish ladders.
  • Requires time commitment of 10-minutes per day.
  • Self-schedule on computer through Volgistics calendar
  • Work outside in all elements, no prior experience needed
  • Training session in March

Native New England Garden Caretaker (April - Sept)

  • Location: Native New England Gardens in front of BCWC Office
  • Make your own schedule
  • Help weed and maintain the two native New England plant demonstration gardens
  • On the job training provided

SMAST Water Quality Sampler (June - Aug)

  • Location: West, North, and Cotuit Bays
  • Time: 5:30 am – 10 am, four sampling days held from late June through mid-August
  • Sampling takes place from boat, canoe and two land sites
  • Requires time commitment of 2-3 hours per sampling day
  • No prior water sampling experience needed
  • Mandatory training session in May

MIMIC Monitor (June - Sept)

  • Monitor for marine invasive species at six locations throughout Barnstable for the MIMIC (Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative) program of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.
  • Collect data from docks in Cotuit, Osterville, Barnstable, Hyannis and on Dead Neck Sampson's Island
  • Requires time commitment of three to four hours per monitoring day
  • Work outside in all elements
  • No prior experience needed, all equipment provided
  • Training session in June

Oyster Upweller Assistant (July - Sept)

  • Location: Gateway Marina, behind Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Hyannis
  • Assist with maintenance of oyster upweller tank and educate public on oysters and water quality
  • Requires time commitment of three to four hours per day.
  • Daily shifts available
  • Work outside in sun, shade available
  • No prior experience needed, all equipment provided
  • On the job training provided

PALS Sampler (Aug - Sept)

  • Location: Ponds in Cotuit, Marstons Mills, Osterville, Centerville, Barnstable, Hyannis
  • Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, dates TBD, August 15th thru September 15th
  • Pond and Lake Stewardship (PALS) involves sampling 31 ponds throughout the town of Barnstable
  • Collect water samples and associated data from kayak and shoreline
  • Requires time commitment of five to six hours per sampling day
  • Sampling occurs in all weather conditions
  • No prior water sampling experience needed, must be able to access pond sites and carry kayaks and equipment
  • On the job training provided

Streamflow Monitor (year round)

  • Location: Marstons Mills River
  • Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, weekly
  • Sample at 10 different stations along the river
  • Physically demanding: walk in river with waders and equipment, climb up and down embankments and through woods to access sampling sites, interact with public on occasion
  • Operate under tight schedule- must be finished by 3:00pm in order to deliver samples to Barnstable County Health Laboratory in Barnstable village
  • Requires time commitment of six hours per sampling day
  • On the job training provided

Outreach and Fundraising Events (year round)

  • Help with various assignments at events (click here to see the list of upcoming events)
  • Engage with public, educate on BCWC's work
  • Help with event setup/breakdown as needed
  • Time commitment varies per event
  • On the job training provided

If you are interested in volunteering for any of the above opportunities please fill out our volunteer application.