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Apply for Volunteer Training in 2022

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Yes, you must apply to become a Sound Water Steward and then you get to participate in the required 100-hour annual training.

We will begin accepting applications in January 2022.


Thank you for your interest in Sound Water Stewards Volunteer Education and Training (VET) program. Training involves 100 hours of college-level instruction, field trips, beach study, and more. The focus is shoreline and marine ecosystems in and around Island County. 

Where are classes held?

In 2022, classes will be held virtually via Zoom on 14 Thursdays enhanced by in-person outdoor field trips and nature studies, on Whidbey or Camano Island, or nearby. A computer or tablet is highly recommended.

Are there field trips?

Yes! You will get to meet your classmates and various experts in person, outdoors during Field Trips. Most trips take place on Whidbey or Camano Island, with an occasional off-island trip such as to Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. In-person programming follows Island County Department of Health and State Parks or other host sites’ COVID safety standards, including social distancing, sanitizing, and mask requirements. SWS Board has determined that masks are required for both indoor and outdoor events sponsored by SWS, including training.

Deadline: When is my application and fee due?

The application form will begin accepting applicants on Jan 3, 2022. Applications are time-stamped and accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Class size is limited. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2022 with names added to a waiting list once it fills up. The training/membership fee (partial or full payment) is to be paid in early March 2022 once you have been accepted into the class. We aim for a mix of trainees from both islands, however, applicants are not required to reside in Island County. Each candidate will be selected on the basis of the application and an informal interview.

Training Fee for 2022

The fee for 2022 has not been set yet. For your fee, you receive 100 hours of training, a copy of the 2020 edition of Getting to the Water’s Edge book, the laminated EZ-ID plant and animal identification guide, and after you finish the class you receive an official SWS nametag.

We seek your participation. SWS does not want the fee to be a barrier to participation and membership! If the fee is a barrier, scholarships are available. Additionally, payment plans offer a budget-friendly option (monthly payments or half in spring, half in fall).

Additional Applicant Requirements

All applicants must provide their email address, mailing address and cell phone number to SWS and set up your own profile within Volunteer Matters (wait until you receive an invitation to Volunteer Matters).

All applicants must submit to a national “Background Check” and provide their details online to Intellicorp after receiving a request sent by SWS Staff.

All participants are required to sign a participant waiver and to fill out a photo release form (acceptance or denial) on the use of photos of you.

Slack Participation

SWS has determined that Slack offers a private and secure way for the Class of 2022 to connect with each other between class days. You will be required to set up a free Slack account using the email address you gave to SWS. We urge you and your classmates to use Slack as a means to reflect on and comment on what you learn in classes and on the beaches. Please share your insights about the ways the information has helped you make a personal change and take a new step toward sustainability.


Sound Water Stewards does not discriminate on the basis of race, disability, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, military status, or any other protected classification.

To ask a question about Sound Water Stewards’ Annual Training, contact training@soundwaterstewards.org.

SWS receives financial support from Lighthouse Environmental Programs.