Abby on a boardwalk along the Assabet River in Acton, MA.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
I’m Christie (she/her), and I have begun my work as an Environmental Policy Intern for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. I’m a senior at Boston University, majoring in Health Science and minoring in Environmental Analysis and Policy. I’m from Rhode Island and have been taking courses remotely this school year. I’m a competitive figure skater, and I enjoy juggling and taking my dog for walks on the beach in my free time. Last March, I didn’t know I had attended my final in-person class of college, but I'm thankful that Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is able to continue their work while navigating these difficult circumstances.
I’m passionate about environmental education and environmental health. I have worked as a public outreach representative for the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and a volunteer interpreter for the Cape Cod National Seashore. Through education, preservation, and advocacy, I hope to help Save the Harbor raise the next generation of environmental stewards. I hope to contribute to Save the Harbor’s values of inclusion and diversity by working to increase accessibility to Boston’s regional beaches and uplifting the voices of marginalized groups.
I’m looking forward to learning more about the process of water quality testing, and understanding the intersection between Save the Harbor’s programs and their policy work. I’m excited to apply my science background to gain invaluable experience in local and regional environmental policy. Save the Harbor is committed to safely connecting the community to Boston Harbor and beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m looking forward to being part of this work.
Monday, December 14, 2020
It's been a while, I know you guys wouldn't usually hear from me in the winter. I know we have our weekly check-ins during the summer when I'm working as a JPA at Save the Harbor. But I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take on a position that I didn't think I would be taking on until later in life as a winter programming intern! Isn't that insane who would have thought. However, if you still don't know me even after two years! I'm definitely hurt but I'll give you a quick overview so pay attention because I'm going to be making tons of blogs this winter. My name is Dhenia Hope Mercier but you can call me Dee because we are friends. I'm attending South Shore Christian Academy, remember the school switch is to jog back your memory, if not I'll keep going. I'm in 11th grade now and I have only one word for it, stressful but I usually occupy myself with sports like soccer and track. I am currently writing up a proposal for a diversity council in my school. I've also started looking at colleges and career paths. I'm looking towards the business route so stay tuned for that.
Alright, I know you love hearing about me and what I do, but I want to switch gears and talk more about my involvement in Save the Harbor. I have been here for two years, and have grown so much as an individual. For one I don't get lost as much and know my way around the city more than I did when I started. Well, I mean, I still get lost, I miss a train stop, or I need a Bridget to pick me up from JFK from time to time, but that's beside the point. The point is I have some history with this place and I definitely have my favorite parts of the organization. But I think my favorite part about Save the Harbor is learning so much about the Boston area and the harbor that when I'm with friends or family all the info grilled into my brain from David's harbor tours makes me look like a genius.
But with this new experience, I'm really excited to get a new feel and to be put in a role where I'm directly impacting the outreach of the organization. I can't wait to see where this takes me.
See ya next week,
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
I'm McRae, a first-year JPA turned winter programming intern. I'm currently a senior at the O'Bryant in Roxbury, struggling through waiting for Early Action decisions and applying to regular decision schools. I want to go to college to study Animal Sciences with the intention of eventually becoming a small animal veterinarian, but for now I still have to overcome senioritis and try to manage to learn anything online. While we're completely online for now and can't do anything in person, I usually play soccer and basketball for our school teams. Luckily, I'm still able to dance outside of school. Other than that, I spend most of my time doing schoolwork, catching up with my friends, or badly attempting to do both at the same time.
|My "senior picture" (my school doesn't actually do senior pictures)|
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Save the Harbor is a dynamic and successful non-profit, public interest Boston Harbor advocacy organization made up of thousands of citizens as well as civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders and scientists. Save the Harbor led the effort to create the Boston Harbor Islands National Park and transformed South Boston’s beaches into the cleanest urban beaches in America. None of this would be possible without dedicated community members, partners, full time staff, and interns. We are seeking interns who are passionate about conservation, environmental advocacy, nonprofit management, and community programming.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is seeking an Environmental Policy Intern to assist in the advancement of our mission. This position is for high energy and self-motivated individual with an interest in political science and environmental policy. Under the direction of the Executive Director and the Director of Strategy & Communications, the Environmental Policy Intern will be working on a variety of projects focused on environmental sustainability, water quality, and public access to Boston Harbor and the waterfront.
Important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Data Analysis and Interpretation: Gather, interpret, summarize, and communicate water quality data as it relates to recreation activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming
· Policy and Communication: Organize information on a number of projects that Save the Harbor/Save the Bay can present at local and regional meetings. Prepare memos and emails that explain new water use policies and proposals to local organizations and officials.
· Research current policy issues, preserve and organize newspaper clips, prepare policy related mailings and emails.
· Monitoring external events relevant to Save the Harbor’s mission and representing Save the Harbor at events when appropriate.
· Attending and supporting Save the Harbor/Save the Bay events.
Skills & Knowledge Desired - Minimum Entrance Requirements:
· Excellent interpersonal, writing and verbal skills required
· Attention to detail and accuracy
· Computer skills include Microsoft Word and Excel
· Interest in non-profit organizations and the mission of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay
· Science background is not required, though an interest in science as it relates to the Boston Harbor and water quality is a must
· Dependability and flexibility
· Ability to exercise good judgment and work on multiple projects simultaneously, while maintaining attention to detail required.
· Proficiency in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Mandarin and/or Cape Verdean Creole preferred, but not required.
Work Environment & Physical Demands
This internship will be remote.
· Part-time year-round opportunity based on work performance.
· Start Date: January 2021
· Hours: at least 12 hours per week
We are flexible on scheduling around classes and other such obligations.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay does not provide stipends for internships but will work closely with students to see that the internship meets credit requirements. You need not be a student to apply.
How to Apply
Please email resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with Environmental Policy Intern in the subject line. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, and LGBTQ individuals.
Thursday, August 27, 2020
My team with the first striper of the summer!
Seemingly as soon as it started, my third summer with Save the Harbor Save the Bay has come to a close. A common theme that’s often mentioned is how much of our normal life was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. This summer is different than all of the summers we have/will have experienced. However, we still hit the beaches, were on the harbor, and helped educate about its history and inhabitants sharing laughs along the way!
For our last in person day, we had the pleasure of visiting Spectacle Island once more. I brought my fishing rod and took some time to reflect on the past 2 months while casting into the surf.
Sharing a laugh with Albert
When reminiscing about this summer, it’s difficult to pick out just a few of the many moments that made this year so special. I want to thank Albert, Arianna, Madi, Qalid, and Ty for being on my team. You all worked hard and helped to produce some phenomenal content that will go a long way educating local communities about our harbor. Thanks to David Coffin for sharing a seemingly endless amount of Boston Harbor knowledge with us. Thanks to Captain Charlie for taking us out on the water and always putting us on fish. And finally, a huge thank you to Kristen, Bridget, Maya, and Sam who made this summer run smoothly, without their facilitation, programming would not have been nearly as fun. We started the summer off strong with a several mile walk at Revere Beach on our first day of programming, then caught the first striped bass of the summer on the next day! We battled swarms of mosquitoes to explore Belle Isle Marsh. We crushed the Harborwalk scavenger hunt. And most importantly, we had a lot of fun.
Stellwagen Bank crew
A few of us got the opportunity to explore the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. This incredible day was well worth the 6 A.M. wake-up call on a Sunday. Humpback whales, a leatherback sea turtle, and a wealth of fish were welcomed guests on our trip offshore. Aside from the fish we caught, we also gained a wealth of knowledge about the life histories and conservation of the many species that inhabit local waters. It’s a day I am sure to remember for a long time.
As I made my way around Spectacle, I looked over to Long Island. It reminded me of all the great memories I’ve made there in the past at Camp Harborview
and made me look forward to next summer when hopefully the camp can open up again. I looked to my left and saw Deer Island. It is home to the MWRA sewage treatment facility that helps to keep Boston Harbor clean, and for that I am grateful. I make one last cast before reconnecting with the rest of the Save the Harbor staff and manage to connect with a schoolie striped bass. A pair of stripers seemed like perfect bookends to a great summer.
The last striper of summer programming
I recently stumbled upon a quote from former president John F. Kennedy that resonated with me, “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came”. Something that I have often thought of throughout this summer is how despite the uncertain times, the harbor has always been there. And I think this is important for us to remember, regardless of what’s happening in the world, the stripers will still migrate, the seals will still swim, and the tides will still change. I hope more of us feel this tie to the ocean and come to love the harbor as I do.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and as always
Monday, August 24, 2020
This is the last blog of the summer I am writing because sadly it is the last week of Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay. It's sad to think that about 7 weeks fly by so quick. I feel like just last week I was completing my first blog ever. this summer went by too fast. I just want to thank my group for making this summer better than I expected it to be. This summer would not have been the same.
To start the week off my team and I meet up at Constitution Beach in East Boston. We met up with Team Karliyah/ Fatima. At Constitution, it was more of a chill and relax day. We just played some games and shared a couple of laughs here and there. The one thing I remember clearly from that day is the amount of bees there. The number of bees that were flying around Constitution Beach was insane. Everywhere anyone went a bee would follow them. It was nice being able to hang around another group for the day.
So on Wednesday my team and I were in a competitive scavenger. Our group walked and walked and WALKED. We started at the Bunker Hill monument and ended at J Pace & Son. We each ate a refreshing popsicle after our long walk. I feel like we were walking for hours but we were only walking for like 3 or 4. Let's just say it was a pretty long day. I ended up going home and I felt like my legs couldn't even hold me up. I was exhausted but on the bright side, we got pizza at Regina's. Overall we had a great time even though we were tired in the end.
Last but not least on Thursday we went to Spectacle Island. We met up with two more teams. It was pretty hot that day. So we decided to play some kickball. That kickball game sure was something else. First, when we ran that bases we ran them the opposite way, like I mean third base was considered first and vice versa. Then trying to catch the ball was harder than you think when it bounces off your chest. Some people got ran over by the opposing team. And then the ball was being kicked at people's faces. There were people diving for the ball and sadly not even catching it. We just had a good time. It was nice to play in that heat. Even though my team lost we still had fun.
|My team and I successfully surviving the scavenger hunt!|
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Hi guys, gals, and everyone in between!
This past week was our last week of summer programming with Save the Harbor Save the Bay :(
Although our hearts are a little heavy, we've made some serious memories that will always be cherished and that I will definitely be thinking about once winter makes its way around.
Leading a team of teenagers through a pandemic with an end goal of creating interactive content for youth was not exactly what I pictured myself doing towards the end of my master's program, but there I was, doing (or attempting to do) just that. Having no real teaching experience, I came into this job a bit frazzled with the constant doubt of whether I was fully equipped to do this, but little did I know, I would be taught a thing or two from today's youth. Some of my favorite moments of the summer were getting to know my group and having conversations and sharing our thoughts regarding current trends and world issues. I loved the fact that we could always joke around while keeping respect for each other! Another favorite part of this summer was playing games with my group, like charades, although they weren't very good at it (sorry guys).
Having been cooped up at home before all this, interacting with people was something I was looking forward to doing again, even if my everyday colleagues were about a decade younger. I got to experience a bit more what it would be like to give advice to younger generations seeking some direction in life, career or otherwise, and I got to see where priorities lay with high school and college folks nowadays. I learned that TikTok and YouTube are basically life skills, but I also saw how important direct communication is and how much the concept of "status quo" is phasing out. The latter two are concepts I seek to incorporate more of into my personal life! I also got to meet people of older generations that are working to make communities more habitable, such as the mayor or Revere, Brian Arrigo, who is working on the Revere Master Plan to make the city metropolitan-friendly and generally better for years to come.
Most of all, I will miss being part of a team with similar interests and passions that are supportive of each other. Even though we will stay in touch, nothing beats working every day with people that are just as excited as you to make an impact on individuals and communities through the use of the public spaces that the Boston Harbor has to offer.
As always, catch me on the coast!
I can't believe it's already our last week of work for the summer :(. I had expected that I was going to enjoy my job, but I couldn't have guessed just how much I would love it and how close our team got. My group will definitely be what I miss most. I can visit a lot of the sites that we worked at on my own time, but it won't be the same without Ruben talking about fishing and chicken sandwiches, Will making absolutely terrible jokes that I may or may not still laugh at every time, Ari and Vanessa full-sending into the water with me and swimming out ridiculously far for no reason, and Claudia offering good advice and (miraculously) putting up with all of our antics. It's really hard to pick only one favorite moment from the summer, but I think I would have to choose our trip to Spectacle Island, though our trip to George's Island is a close second. I had actually never been to Spectacle before, and this was pretty much a perfect first trip. Our deliverable for the week was a vlog, so the only work I had to do was take pictures and videos. It was kind of disgustingly hot, but we still spent way too long searching for sea glass and then decided to hike up the hill way too fast (it was conditioning for soccer). The view from the top of Spectacle was beautiful, but what was even better was diving in to go swimming after we had been hiking in the heat for over an hour. And of course, any time I got to spend just talking and laughing with my group was a good time.
|Team Claudia + Ms. Ryan, David, and Sam at Spectacle|
|View from the top of Spectacle|
|The Belle and downtown Boston|
|Out of the walls of Fort Warren|
|Vanessa and Ari interlocking toes, as you do|
|Vanessa admiring her hairstylist skills on Will|
This is sadly the last blog of the summer, but here is how my last we went. On Tuesday we went back to Castle Island with Caroline's group. On my way there, I saw Jay and Jane and said I could get a ride from Bridget. It was very early so we got in her car and picked D up from Carson beach because she wanted to come with us and we went to get breakfast at J Pace. I got a chocolate chip muffin and a chocolate chip cookie and apple juice. Went back to Bridget's car, made jokes, and ate our food and saw Vanessa then we to Castle Island. We walked down to the end of the beach where we played games and took pictures and of course, Ruben went fishing. We walked back and my group went into the water with our clothes on because why not! McRae, Claudia,Vanessa, and I all swam out to touch the buoy. It was McRae, me, Vanessa, and Claudia, and Will and Ruben didn't want to swim out that far. We ate then went home. On Wednesday we to Georges Island and walked around a lot and went inside the forts and in the dark tunnel. I was scared because I couldn't see anything and Kamal scared me and I almost had a heart attack! We ate, chilled out till the boat came back, then went home. On Thursday we went on a scavenger hunt; we met at J Pace I got a chocolate chip muffin and apple juice. We went across the street and ate and we started are hunt we walk all around the sea port to the aquarium then met up with everyone else took the last pictures and and are goodbyes and that is how my last week went.
See u guys next summer,
Friday, August 21, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
It's sad to think that next week is our last week of work. Looking back I think of the first week of work compared to now. This week I felt really connected to my group. My group and I were placed in Malibu Beach in Dorchester. Even with the blazing hot weather my group and I worked hard to finish our video. Overall, I notice how each week my group works together and finished our deliverable faster due to how cooperative we are. I can tell we've grown as a group because we went from not barely having a conversation with one another whereas now where we have endless laughs and days full of fun. This week we filmed a video for our deliverable. It took us a couple of takes but we got it done efficiently. With the time we had to spare we decided to connect with our group members by playing games. I learned how to play a couple of new card games. We played Mafia and my group now knows I am not a good liar. Kristen and Maya also joined us as we played Uno one day in the week. Endless rounds of Uno made us play every man for themselves. We had no sympathy as we played.
|My Group and I played Heads Up|
Hello there! I'm back with another blog and I'm so happy to talk to you all again. This week we were at the Charlestown Navy Yard. this place has so much historical background and is ingrained in the city of Boston. It is the home of the oldest navy ship that is still afloat to this day in america, the USS Constitution. Its other name is old iron sides. I learned this on the harbor tour me and my group went on. When there was a battle between the people in Boston and the British they would fire many cannons to the USS constitution but none of them actually destroyed the ship and one of the people on the ship yelled that the side that was hit had a side of iron.
Now, after the harbor clean up there were more investors that wanted to build there and they built more land and added it to Boston. Now, the places that are near the harbor have more attractions and now there are little buildings next to huge condos. Those are evidence of the harbor clean up.
On Tuesday we went to Constitution beach, we were looking for hermit crabs and Ruben was trying to fish. Claudia, McRae, Vanessa, and I saw two hermit crabs fighting for a shell to live in and it was really fun, we also saw a bunch of tiny little fish. We made skits for a video and I was a jellyfish. We went swimming for a little then I got cold and got out and put my sweater on. Then for lunch we walked to Burger King and talked the rest of the day about our hardships and gave each other advice. On Wednesday we went to Spectacle Island. We were on the boat for a very long time it felt like forever but we went on a hike and went swimming. Vanessa and I ran to the water because it was really hot, we ate then left to go home. On Thursday we swam, made skits, went back to Burger King for lunch again and Vanessa and McRae went to subway to eat. We watched funny videos and went back swimming then went to the showers and changed then went home.
What is fishery? A company or a group of people harvesting fish. Common fish that are caught in Boston are BLUEFISH, BLACK SEA BASS,STRIPED BASS, SCUP, TAUTOG, and WEAKFISH. A hub in Boston for fishing is Kayak fishing hub and it is located at Boston's north shore. Ecological pros and cons of fisheries are: Pro - Replenishment, because it helps get more food fast and allowing supplies to have to keep up with demand. Con- Environmental Damage. These farms have large fish condensed in one area, and when the fish die they are dumped in to the water polluting it. I haven't had a chance to interact with fisheries but I'm interested in the future. Something interesting I learned about fisheries is that there are a lot of regulations and rules to fish and that american lobsters have a longer lifespan than cats and dogs.
-see you next time on the water,
|Spectacle Island view of the city|
There was a time that fisheries weren’t communicating about how much they were taking, so everyone was taking too much. Depending on what method is used there can also be a lot of bycatch. Even if they do release the fish or by catch that isn’t wanted those animals have suffered and can now even struggle to continue surviving. The pros about fisheries is that they have rules and regulations they are required to follow so it allows us to control how much damage they are causing. Some of the regulations in place at the moment are what season they can be caught, size, amount, even gender. This allows the fish to reproduce at a rate that can sustain the fishing rate. They as well have limitations for what areas the fish can be caught in. I don’t eat fish so that means that I’m not adding to the demand of fish. This lowers the supply that is needed. The more demand the more supply. Fisheries go based on how much is needed to avoid overfishing. Something I found interesting was that when fisheries were first put into motion there weren’t that many regulations. Now having communication between countries is required. It’s so important to not only adjust based on demand but also based on how well the ocean can provide and sustain our needs. You can’t take from where there isn’t enough to take from.
Catch you on the flip side,
So this week my team was at Charlestown Navy Yard and the topic for the weeks blog is on fisheries. while the Navy Yard doesn't have much history with fisheries, it has a very rich shipbuilding history. One type of ship that was built here was called a Schooner. One Schooner built in Charlestown is called the Roseway and it is docked over by the Moakley Courthouse. It was originally built to be a Cod Schooner but the man who owned it didn't like the smell of Cod so he decided to use the vessel to fish for Swordfish instead. In New England a lot of Schooners were used to fish for Cod. Cod is a bottom feeding fish that used to be extremely plentiful in the waters off shore. Because of their abundance, the Cod fishing industry began to explode, thus creating large Cod fisheries. The demand for Cod increased and people began over fishing Cod. Meaning that fishermen were taking more Cod than the population could support. However, regulations have been put in place to prevent people from over fishing.
This week my team also got to go out on the Belle for a harbor tour. We crisscrossed all over the inner harbor learning about how the coastline has expanded and changed since the 1600's. We then went out near some of the harbor islands. An interesting thing I learned about the islands is that at low tide there are 34 islands but at high tide there are only 33. That is because at high tide water completely covers one island. This island is called Nixes Mate. Back in the old days, this is where people would hang pirates as a deterrent for other pirates entering the harbor. Legend has it that the last pirate to be hung on the island cast a curse upon it. He cast that the island would sink back into the sea and 20 years later at high tide it went completely under.
A fishery is an area or place where fish and other sea animals are caught. They catch, process, and sell these animals. There are fish that are pretty common around the Boston Harbor area. Some of those fish are Sea Bass (Black sea bass, Striped Bass), Bluefish, Cod, Flounders, Skates, and many more. Although there are many hubs for fishing in Boston, one of the best is the Charles River. There are many fish that are around the area as well as many fishing spots that are known to hold fish of all shapes and sizes.
The main pro of a regulated fishery is that it can help sustain/impact the world's GDP, which is the market value of all goods. This goes hand and hand with the economic health of a country.
Also, it helps supply people with food throughout the country. However, the main con is the impact on the oceans, and fisheries/fish farms can put harm on those environments. Not to mention that there can be a chance of diseases and bacteria that can be spread around in those fishes. In most fisheries, they fall under 4 regulations that can affect their functions. They are Space, Time, Size, and Gear. With Space, they often limit their area so they don’t overstep their boundaries and affect the environment even more. With Time, they limit themselves on how long they can fish as well as only open on certain parts of the year. Size has to do with the amount of fish that are caught, they cannot over fish and limit themselves on how much they catch. With Gears, only a few select gears can be used to catch fish.
Considering that I have only eaten fish a few times, I could say that I interact with fisheries only a little bit. Sometimes I go to a market to pick up a fish or any similar animal and see how it’s processed in the market. Normally I don’t interact with fisheries at all.
I have learned many things about fisheries while researching it for my blog. One of them is the difference between fishery and a fish farm. They both affect the environment in their way but also function differently. One thing I also learned from the research is the limitations and rules that fisheries have to abide by to function, also known as the 4 regulations. There is a lot more that goes onto fisheries that people don’t know.
Sea ya Later!
|Me and My coworkers chilling on the Harbor Boat Tour!|
This week my group and I got to visit Charlestown Navy Yard, where we worked on a lesson plan and learned about fisheries and regulations. We had 2 days to put it together and a lot of our energy went into the first day where we all split up to do our parts; Kamal and I put together a game where you describe the fish, like body size, color, head shape, if they are fast or slow swimmers, etc., and the kids have to try and draw it based off those characteristics. Once everyone did their part, we came together, discussed it, and put it all together and worked on the rest as a group. We heard all the groups started filming their own Full House intros so we just had to do those before the day was over, we walked around the Navy Yard and were reading all the information stands about the history as we scouted out places to do someone's intro. We decided I should chase some pigeons because I'm always running after birds on the beach :). We also visited the Bunker Hill Monument on Wednesday which was hot but nice. On Thursday we went on the Harbor Tour with all the senior staff which was really cool because I thought I knew a lot about the harbor already but I learned about so much more. Like that the Zakim Bridge was inspired by the Bunker Hill Monument behind the USS Constitution, or "Old Iron-sides". I got sunburned, but sitting on the front of the boat all day was really nice and worth a little burn. We had a really great time there and took some goofy group photos.
The topic for this week was Fisheries, which are basically places where fishing is done commercially- they are caught in a conscious effort to be sold. Some of the most commonly caught fish around Boston is the Stripped Bass, Bluefish, and Black Sea Bass. Almost every week we've gotten to fish ourselves at each site, but of course that's just for fun, not to sell them. The Boston, McCorkle, and Fallon Fish piers are all fishing hubs in the harbor that are great to fish at. Though, fisheries are how many workers make a living and the fish caught supply a lot of food people eat in the world, about 1/3 of fisheries end up over fished and contributes to the decline in certain species like Cod and Sea Bass. I kind of thought the percent of fisheries that are overfished would be higher than 33% so I was glad to find that out, but really it should be 0%. Regulations for fisheries are based on time, like how long they can fish and the time of year. They're also based on the size of the fish, if it's too small it needs to grow, or if it's too big and is a breeding fish you aren't allowed to sell it. There is also a limit on how far out you can fish so you don't disrupt their habitat and/or breeding grounds.Grace & her chair :)
Sea you out there!