Friday, January 22, 2016

Picture Yourself Volunteering in Alaska This Summer

Beach on northeastern Shuyak Island, AK
For the summer of 2016, Island Trails Network is coordinating a Community Marine Debris Cleanup of Shuyak Island State Park in cooperation with the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the State of Alaska. Shuyak is a scenic state park that has been heavily impacted by marine debris pollution and is the easternmost large island of the Kodiak Archipelago.

Schedule: Every two weeks from 12 June until 4 September 2016, 3-6 volunteers are needed to conduct a marine debris clean up and removal project of the entire shoreline of Shuyak Island. We will access cleanup sites from mobile base camps using sea kayaks, and marine debris will be stockpiled for removal later in the summer. Clean up periods include: a) 12-26 June, b) 26 June –10 July, c) 10-24 July, d) 24 July-7 August, e) 7-21 August, f) 21 August-4 September.

Island Trails Network provides: Travel from Kodiak to Shuyak and back in a commercial floatplane, sea kayak and essential kayaking gear, dry suit (if needed), safety gear and leadership, food and much of the camping gear, & remedial sea kayak coaching as needed.

Volunteer qualifications: Volunteers should be physically fit and able to live and work in remote rustic base camps for two weeks, paddle a sea kayak 2-6 hours every day, and able to work on rocky shorelines. 

(Photo credit: Richard Lampman)
Desirable skills and experience for volunteers include:

1. Competent living and working in rustic camps in the backcountry, especially in bear habitat in coastal Alaska.

2. Have completed multi-day sea kayak trips and are competent paddling a sea kayak in wind and waves (or are able and willing to take some training before coming to Shuyak).

3. First aid and CPR skills with recent if not current certifications.

4. Are willing to paddle and camp, clean up marine debris, & then paddle & camp some more, then hit repeat.

Note: You don’t have to be an expert sea kayaker, but you do need to be competent. We only have a few sea kayaks available, and we need to be sure you can fit and use one of our boats. Feel free to email to arrange a call to discuss the options. 

Fees: To defray the costs of the project we are asking volunteers to make a donation of $500 per person. ITN is a tax-exempt 501c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible.

You provide: 1) a completed application packet for Shuyak, 2) travel to Kodiak, 2) a $500 per person donation, 3) enthusiasm and energy for wilderness camping, sea kayaking, marine debris clean up.

To Apply: Send an email to and I will send you an email with an application packet for this marvelous volunteer opportunity. After careful review of the applications, we will get back to you ASAP.

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