Become a CIOR eco-volunteer

Community involvement is core to our mission, and none of our efforts are possible without our eco-volunteers. Check out our calendar for volunteer opportunity dates and times, and sign up for specific activities and dates here. If you’d like to get involved but don’t have time to commit on a regular basis, we still encourage you to join us – whether it’s once or for an entire season, your help makes a difference! Please contact Luna Placchi at for more information on any of our volunteer activities.

Volunteers age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and all volunteers must sign a waiver prior to participation in any activity.

To sign up for our newsletter, find out about internship opportunities, or if you have skills or ideas that might benefit our work, please contact us.

Shell Collection

Help collect oyster and clam shells, which are crucial to our reef-building efforts, from our City Island Shell Collective partner restaurants. Although the work does not take long, it can be strenuous and a little dirty at times. Our shell collection work is done in concert with the Billion Oyster Project Shell Collection Network. Contact Luna ( to coordinate meet-up. Shell collection takes place May through November.

Oyster Research Station Hands-On Experience

Get hands-on with our Oyster Research Stations (ORS). You’ll learn how to properly measure an oyster, how to identify biodiversity found in the cage, and how oyster reefs contribute to the health of the coastal ecosystem. Great for all ages! Bring a water bottle, lunch, sunscreen, and hat. The Oyster Research Stations are monitored in partnership with the Billion Oyster Project. Meet at the City Island Marina at 673 City Island Avenue. ORS monitoring takes place May through September.

Water-Quality Monitoring

Learn about water-quality monitoring and how water-quality parameters, such as dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity, affect oysters. Meet at the City Island Marina at 673 City Island Avenue. Water-quality monitoring takes place May through September.

Dive Surveys

Dive surveys are conducted to determine sites around City Island that have the greatest potential to support successful oyster reef restoration. Volunteer divers need to be assessed by Captain Mike before participating in dive surveys. Contact Captain Mike’s Dive Shop at (718) 885-1588 or at Meet at Captain Mike’s at 530 City Island Avenue.

Living Shoreline Clean-ups

Remove invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed, and marine debris at our outdoor education center. Sunscreen, water and gloves are recommended. Meet at our Living Shoreline behind P.S. 175 at 200 City Island Avenue.