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We are tentatively resuming dune restoration days at Ma-le'l Dunes South to remove non-native, invasive plant species! For more information, please email

As a non-profit organization, we are dependent and forever thankful

for the volunteers and members who help us continue to

conserve the coast and educate the community.


Below are summaries of our current volunteer opportunities

and how you can be another friend of the dunes.



Add gloves, shovels, and brush axes to human hands, and you have the strongest dune restoration tool around. Within months of initially removing invasive plants, volunteers witness native plants re-sprouting on their own. Our methods of removal have minimal impacts to the dunes, and thus native plants are able to repopulate the dunes on their own.


Join the Dune Ecosystem Restoration Team (DERT)

Help restore the dunes by volunteering with DERT (Dune Ecosystem Restoration Team). Volunteers help remove non-native invasive plants in order to promote native plant and animal life in the dunes. No experience necessary. Training, tools, refreshments, camaraderie, and beautiful scenery are provided. Returning volunteers are eligible for free t-shirts and hats. All ages welcome!

DERT meets every 2nd Sunday at the BLM's Ma-le'l Dunes South and every 3rd Saturday at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. Visit our calendar for dates and times or subscribe to our email list and be kept up to date on where and when to meet.


Drop-in Restoration

If you don’t like to follow schedules and have time during the week to volunteer, this is for you. After an initial orientation, you can spend as many hours as you like helping to remove invasive plants at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. Just check in at the center and we’ll set you up with gloves and tools. Please call (707) 444-1397 or email us to get started.

Occasionally we have large groups or multiple restoration events occurring at the same time and can use extra leadership help. We prefer DERT leaders to have gone through Bay to Dunes training, Coastal Naturalist Training, or have participated with DERT on a regular basis. Please call (707) 444-1397 or email us to discuss this opportunity.


DERT Team Leader



Do you enjoy sharing nature with kids? Become an environmental education volunteer with Friends of the Dunes! Volunteers are needed to lead K-12 students in a guided exploration of coastal environments. Through hands-on activities and educational games, environmental education volunteers teach kids about native dunes plants, habitat restoration, salt marsh ecology, animal tracking, bird watching, freshwater invertebrates, dune geology, and human history. Field trips take place on Fridays during the fall and spring.


No experience is necessary, just a desire to share nature with young students and to learn more about our coastal environments. A full training will be provided every spring & fall.

Our next Environmental Educator Training will take place in February, 2020. Visit our calendar for more details or contact us at  707-444-1397 or



Volunteer to be a class leader for Kids Ocean Day on May 28, 2020. During the Kids Ocean Day event, about 1,000 students from local elementary and middle schools participate in a day of coastal stewardship followed by the creation of a giant aerial art image on the beach. Class leaders are needed to guide school groups in habitat restoration and beach clean-up activities. A mandatory training will be provided 1 week before the event. Please contact us at 707-444-1397 or email us for more information or to sign up.


Become a Friends of the Dunes Coastal Naturalist! Every fall, we offer in-depth 6-week training that covers topics like botany, geology, birds, insects, animal tracking, cultural history, coastal ecology, and interpretation techniques. The course is for community members interested in expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the coast. While you may take the course strictly for your own enjoyment, the course will also prepare you to become an active volunteer with Friends of the Dunes. For more information on how to register, click the link above, email us or call 707-444-1397.



Friends of the Dunes participates in a variety of special events including tabling at fairs and festivals. Check out the calendar for details on upcoming events or call 444-1397 to find out more about how you can help. Volunteers are always needed at our annual events:


Sand Sculpture Festival

  • Participate in the Planning Committee

  • Registration/information table

  • Food table

  • Judging

  • Clean up

  • Poster Distributors


Wine by the Sea

  • Planning Committee

  • Food Preparation

  • Soliciting Silent Auction Items

  • Decorating/Set up

  • Clean Up

  • Parking

  • Greeter

  • Poster Distributors


Ocean Day

  • Aerial art crew

  • Class leader

  • Kid wrangler

  • Pilot (must have plane)

  • Aerial photographer


Lupine Bash

  • Lupine Bashers

  • Lupine Uprooters

  • Lupine Destroyers

  • Lupine Annihilators


Get Outside Gear Sale

  • Greeters

  • Gear Organizers

  • Parking Lot Attendants

  • Security

  • Poster Distributors



Front Desk Volunteers are the first people that visitors see when they walk into the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center and are responsible for greeting visitors, selling gift shop items, and answering phone inquiries. Front desk volunteers may also help with data entry, membership mailings, merchandise sales, media relations, and more. For more information or to sign-up for training, please email us.

Special Events
Nature Center
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