The Aquarium could not run without the help of our amazing teams of volunteers! To thank them for their service, we invite active volunteers to an appreciation party, Voluntern, every October. During this event, we grant awards to some of our fantastic volunteers, interns, and departments.

Hours of Service Awards are granted to our volunteers and interns based on the total number of hours served over the course of their lifetime.

Presidential Service Awards are a national-level of recognition for volunteers that served over 500 hours in a single year.

Years of Service Awards are granted to our volunteers and interns based on the total number of years they have been a volunteer at the Aquarium.

Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to indivduals that have served more than 4,000 hours over the course of their lifetime to volunteering at the Aquarium.
The Unsung Hero Award was created to acknowedlge a few tried and true volunteers who generally fly under our radar and may not otherwise receive specialized recognition during Voluntern. After nominees are screened by a number of groups, including partner institutions, the final winner is chosen through a "text to vote" portion of Voluntern.

The Supervisor of the Year is awarded to a volutneer/intern supervisor that goes above and beyond to provide an outstanding experience for their charges. Supervisors are nominated by their volunteers and interns and chosen based on the quantity and quality of these nominations, as well as a number of other factors. 

The Susie Buttrick Award provides the opportunity for a department to enrich their volunteers’/interns’ experiences at the New England Aquarium. This grant is awarded to a department based on a number of criteria, namely one that is seeking to develop a thoughtful, impactful recognition program that will benefit current and future volunteers and interns.

The live blue Service Corps Awards are meant to recognize volunteers that take advantage of different facets of the Service Corps program. The "Deep Blue Award" goes to an individual that dedicates numerous hours to a single program or issue; the "Watershed Award" goes to someone that volunteers for numerous departments, programs, or multiple organizations; the "Service Leader of the Year" award goes to one of our Leaders that has been consistently active in all facets of the program.