Sunday, June 30, 2019

REELy excited for this summer!

Hello all!

     My name is Tessa, I’m a new Senior Harbor Educator working with the Summer Youth Programs. I’m new to Boston and so excited to spend this summer getting to know the city through my time teaching on the Harbor.

     I was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia and attended college at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. After graduating, I moved up to New England to work in environmental education. As a kid, I visited New England every summer, and always loved my time near the water and seeing all the ocean stewardship that so many wonderful organizations work for in the area. I have spent the last two years working for The Ecology School in Maine, The Seacoast Science Center in New Hampshire, and substitute teaching. I’ve always had a love for nature and a passion for sharing its wonders, but have found a new level of joy through teaching students about local ecology.

Fish head, most likely tuna, that I found in a New England Salt Marsh!

     I’m very excited to continue working with students on the water this summer. Orientation was a blast and confirmed that it is going to be a great summer. I feel lucky to get to work with so many high school and college students who call Boston home and are so ready to share their knowledge with me. Throughout orientation I enjoyed the opportunity to swap expertise and passion with the students; me teaching about some marine animals and them teaching me about the history of Boston Harbor and Save the Harbor, Save the Bay. I was equally impressed by the returning staff sharing their knowledge as well as the new staff with their willingness to jump right in. I am so excited to get to not only teach young students this summer but also to work with our awesome high school staff.

     This past week I learned just a tiny fraction of the history of Boston Harbor, and yet what I learned is already so fascinating. I was particularly interested in learning about the waste treatment plant on Deer Island. Humans produce lots of waste, of many forms, and it is wonderful to hear about large initiatives to properly dispose of this waste. Hearing stories and seeing the evidence of the work that so many people have put into cleaning up Boston Harbor gives me hope for humanities’ ability to reduce our waste in many other places. I look forward to learning more about waste-reduction initiatives currently happening in Boston in order to keep our waters and land clean.

     Our fishing trip on Tuesday was especially exciting because I always love getting hands-on with salt-water creatures. Over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about shore-dwelling creatures, so it was wonderful to get a chance to go out into the channel and bring up some animals that live offshore. I particularly loved learning about using different weights and different fishing methods for catching different types of fish. I never knew that you should have your line a few feet above the bottom with a jig in order to catch Black Sea Bass. Bruce Berman, our director of strategy & communications, was especially patient with teaching me some of the finesse it takes to hook a bass. I have only dappled with fishing when I was young and I’m so excited to get better at it this summer. It is so wonderful to bring up healthy fish that are benefiting from human’s efforts to protect and clean the harbor.

Having a blast on our orientation fishing trip with Damani, Michael, Stephanie, and Dee

     I am so excited about all of the adventures and new relationships that this summer will bring. I can’t wait to get out on the shore with our staff and the students we serve next week!

CATCH you later,

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