Thank you for your interest in OC Habitats™ (OCH). We are a grassroots nonprofit organization, founded in July 2017. We are passionate about habitat conservation and we have about 40+ dedicated volunteers. We are excited you’re interested in joining our team!
See below for our upcoming and ongoing volunteer opportunities and next steps for becoming a volunteer. Any experience or education level is welcome; we offer training for monitoring and education/outreach.
1. Habitat Restoration (a.m. hours on weekends). No training required; tools are provided. Activities involve removing non-native plants, planting native plants, watering, etc.
- Marshland Conservation with Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy. Help with habitat restoration of the Magnolia, Brookhurst, Talbert, and Newland Marshes along PCH in Huntington Beach. Work in these marshes include non-native plants and debris removal, creating channels to allow water flow, installing native plants, and more! Occurs every 3rd Saturday of the month.
- Salt Marsh Restoration at Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. Join OC Habitats and Project Grow in our effort to restore the salt marsh habitat at Upper Newport Bay. Our work includes non-native and invasive plant removal and trash cleanup. This site is abundant with sensitive wildlife (plants and animals) activity, so volunteers are required to be 18+ in order to participate.
- Coastal Sage Scrub Restoration with Turtle Rock Nature Center. Help to restore habitat at Turtle Rock Nature Center in Irvine by removing plants and invasive species.
- Santiago Park Cleanup with the City of Santa Ana. Help with the beautification of Santiago Park in Santa Ana to encourage people to spend more time outdoors and make a difference in the community!
2. Habitat Education and Outreach (weekdays and weekends).
- Habitat and Species Education at Schools (weekdays – during school hours). Visit OC schools with OCH Crew, leading habitat-themed activities.
- MPA Hike and Tide Pool Exploration. Teach about the importance of the tidepools in our environment and point out different species observed. Takes place in Newport Beach at Little Corona Beach (off of Poppy), Laguna Beach (near downtown) or Dana Point (near Ocean Institute).
- Guided Hikes in Orange County. Help lead in-land hikes on various trails in Orange County. Discuss native plants, animals, etc. along the trail.
3. Habitat Monitoring (weekdays and weekends). Training required and will start after volunteer's onboarding is completed.
- Sea Urchin Monitoring Program. OC Habitats is collaborating with Get Inspired to do sea urchin monitoring in tide pools along the Orange County coastline. The goal of this project is to learn more about our local sea urchin populations, and how we can restore and protect kelp forest ecosystems along our coast.
- Coastal Dune Monitoring (CDH). Monitor OC beaches, recording data on state of the habitat and species observed. OCH shares data with other partner agencies that help protect and conserve these habitats. Shift frequency depends on your availability. Note: CDH will wrap up on September 2024.
4. Administrative Opportunities:
- Event Planning. Helping to plan events for our organization such as volunteer appreciation, training programs, and field trips
- Outreach Marketing. Finding opportunities for our organization to reach a larger audience through outreach events such as speaking venues, career fairs, environmental fairs/events, and more.
- Administrative Tasks. Scheduling events, programs, and monitoring shifts with public, schools, and OCH Volunteers. Provide data entry for our monitoring work and website maintenance to keep our site up to date for the public and our active volunteer crew.
- Human Resources and Volunteer Recruiting. Help with finding new volunteers to work as monitors, educators, and restoration specialists for our various programs. Work with volunteers on their schedules and our programs. Help OCH develop and maintain certain protocols across our programs to provide a consistent message to the public.
Next Steps: If you are interested in any of the above programs and would like to join our team, please fill out our OCH Volunteer Application Packet. Once we have reviewed, we will schedule an in-person interview (intern applicants only). OC Habitats looks forward to working with you!