Volunteer for the James

Join our effort to protect and restore America’s Founding River

How can you help the river?

At the James River Association we love our volunteers. Your hard work and dedication to the organization help us reach our mission to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of the James River. We couldn’t do the work we do without people like you! Below are key ways you can help make a difference.

Get your hands dirty.

Volunteers plant trees, remove invasive plant species, clean up trash, assemble and install rain barrels, build rain gardens, and more.

Get involved in our Watershed Restoration program!

Educate the next generation of river stewards.

Trained volunteers assist with educational events, in-class lessons, and work as a certified First Mate on our education vessel.

Get involved in our Education program!

Connect Virginians to their river.

Volunteers help by leading our interpretive paddle programs, assisting with outreach at events, constructing boat launches and exploring local waterways to assess river access.

Discover ways to connect!

Advocate for your river.

Our Action Network made up of thousands of advocates contacts legislators, attends public hearings, researches policies and regulations, and helps us recruit others to speak up for the river.

Get involved in our Advocacy efforts!

Patrol your river.

Our RiverRats program, now with over 200 volunteers, involves extensive training. RiverRats carry out at least three river patrols and one community action project per year. Action projects range from simply attending James River Association outreach events to tagging and tracking Atlantic Sturgeon with VCU researchers!

Get the details on our RiverRats program!

Monitor water quality.

Volunteers undergo training and follow our rigorous sampling protocol to upload river data (e.g., bacteria levels and turbidity) directly to our James River Watch website, which provides users with nearly real-time citizen-sourced data on river conditions from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year.

Get involved in our Water Quality Monitoring program!


Ready to volunteer?

If you are interested in our volunteer programs, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Sophie Stern, at (804) 788-8811 ext 214 or volunteer@jrava.org.

Also, check our calendar for upcoming volunteering events and training sessions.

Volunteers Paint Out Pollution at Chesterfield County Libraries

Volunteers worked through the day to install art on storm drains at four public libraries in Chesterfield County on Wednesday, September 20. A total of 24 storm drains were painted at Chester Library, Meadowdale Library, La Prade Library, and North Courthouse Road Library as part of Paint Out Pollution…

Read More

Volunteers Paint Out Pollution in Hopewell

Volunteers joined the James River Association and Art on Wheels to Paint Out Pollution in Hopewell on Saturday, August 5th. Volunteers used stencils of native animal species created by several artists to install art on 18 storm drains in Hopewell’s downtown area.

Read More

Meet Victoria Williams, Water Quality Program Intern

Hi, everyone! My name is Victoria Williams and I am a rising junior at the University of Richmond. I am majoring in Environmental Studies with a Bachelors of Science, and double minoring in Spanish and Anthropology. I am from Baltimore-Annapolis, Maryland; however, I...
Read More

Whether it’s getting your hands dirty with one of our Watershed Restoration projects, acting as a voice for the river through our Advocacy efforts or helping out with office tasks, there is a job for everyone to play a part in making a cleaner James River.

Deep Bottom Volunteer Event

Discover how to protect and enjoy your river. Join the James River Association today! »