NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is looking to fill hundreds of positions ahead of the summer season.

“We have positions in every division in the environmental conservation branch,” DEEP Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble said. “That’s boating, wild life, forestry, fishing, parks and our Environmental Conservation Police.”

Another benefit, Trumble said, is being able to get a taste of what it would be like to work for the department throughout the year. Most of the full-time staff started as seasonal employees.

It’s a hiring shift since the pandemic led to no lifeguards being on duty at state beaches.

“Many of these positions have been actually posted for a while,” Trumble said. “We’ve been doing target recruitment, really, since the end of December, early January for some of these positions.”

The department hires more than 600 people each summer. This summer, it’s added a pay raise, lifting the wages from $13-17 an hour to $15-19 an hour.