Volunteer with The Nature Conservancy

Island Stewardship Volunteer Program

Eastern Shore of Virginia

TNC's Island Stewardship team stands on the sands of Virginia's Eastern Shore for training in 2018.
Island Stewardship Program TNC's Island Stewardship team stands on the sands of Virginia's Eastern Shore for training in 2018. © Alex Wilke/TNC
Volunteer Overview

Do you want to help protect nesting birds on the Eastern Shore of Virginia? Join us as an Island Steward this April - August! 

Island Stewards are official representatives of TNC’s Volgenau Virginia Coast Reserve (VVCR) program, which manages several barrier islands along Virginia’s Eastern Shore. These islands are among the most important nesting and resting spots for shorebirds and waterbirds in the  Western Hemisphere—supporting threatened species like the piping plover and red knot. 

Stewards will educate boaters and island visitors about the birds, sensitive natural resources on the islands and island use policies. 


  1. Participate in the training session scheduled for early April 2024. The training information session is required for new participants.
  2. Island-based steward responsibilities will occur on an ongoing, opportunistic basis, when stewards choose to visit the islands of the VVCR.
  3. Don't have a boat but still want to help out? Join us as a Boat Ramp Steward! Boat Ramp Stewards will be asked to sign up for a minimum of a 2-hour shift over the course of the summer. Potential shifts and boat ramp locations will be provided through an online sign-up process.  All boat ramps will be located on the seaside of the Eastern Shore.    


  1. Local Eastern Shore resident or frequent visitor. 
  2. Excellent communication skills which can effectively, yet casually, educate all island visitors.
  3. Desire to help protect the biodiversity of the VVCR.
  4. Island-based Stewards must have boat transportation to get on and off the islands, as well as familiarity with the local waterways.
  5. Must complete The Nature Conservancy Youth Safety Qualifications prior to volunteering.

If you are interested in joining us as an Island Steward, please contact volunteer coordinator, Brynna Strand, at brynna.strand@tnc.org.


In person work
Eastern Shore of Virginia
Multiple dates and varied times
Brynna Strand