Monday, May 18, 2020

Our Team in Quarantine

Chris Mancini, Executive Director
Chris Mancini is the Executive Director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and previously served as Save the Harbor's Vice President of Operations & Programs since 2016. He is an experienced nonprofit leader with a deep understanding of the importance of free, healthy outdoor activities and environmental education to our kids and communities. Chris takes a hands-on approach to all aspects of Save the Harbor's work, and is deeply committed to the organization and its success. He is particularly proud of the work Save the Harbor does to connect our communities to the harbor, and to strengthen the leadership skills of our young staff, who are the next generation of harbor stewards. He is also an accomplished sailor, a bicycle commuter and proud husband and father.

How have you stayed connected to the Harbor and the outdoors during quarantine? 
I’ve visited some of our region’s great beaches on my weekend long runs. I’ve gone down to South Boston and up to Lynn and Nahant – sometimes I need my wife to pick me up on the way back, though. Wearing the mask was frustrating at first, but I decided it just mimics altitude training. So by the end of this, I’ll practically be an Olympian.

What is your favorite fact about Boston Harbor? 
It’s pretty basic, but I still can’t get over the fact that this harbor was a literal sewer for decades, and we now have the cleanest urban beaches in the country.

What’s your favorite marine-based joke? 
Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay, they’d be bagels! (Never fails . . . to get a groan).

Kristen Barry, Youth Program Director
Kristen Barry first joined the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay team in the summer of 2015 as part of the youth environmental education staff, returning for four years to work out on Long Island and Carson Beach. She joined the team full-time as Youth Program Director in the fall of 2018. As a former middle school STEM teacher and high school coach, Kristen puts a big emphasis on cultivating a positive and inclusive team environment with the summer staffers. In her free time, Kristen likes to swim in the harbor, hike, bike, and coach college swimming. During these unprecedented times, she has replaced her daily Harborwalk jaunts with explorations of the natural spaces close to home.

How have you stayed connected to blue and green spaces during quarantine? 
Now that social distancing is in effect, in the extra hours in my day that I am not spending commuting, I have begun to explore the trails in and around my town. I have also been taking advantage of the milder weather to try out my new bike. Spending time outside helps me get into a routine and continue to be productive throughout the day.

If you were a marine animal, what would you be? 
If I were a marine animal, I would be a sea turtle. When I went to the Galapagos, I spent a ton of time underwater with the sea turtles there. The way they swam looked so relaxing and majestic that made me wish I could move with such ease through the water!

What is your favorite fact about Boston Harbor? 
I love the history of Spectacle Island, particularly the fact that before it was transformed into the natural beauty it is today, the island was a trash dump which was on fire for more than ten years! It is hard to believe that such a stunning place has such an amazing history.

What is your favorite marine joke? 
What do sea monsters like to eat? Fish and ships!

Trevor Etheridge, Development Manager
Trevor Etheridge is the Development Manager at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, where he works on raising funds and developing partnerships to support Save the Harbor’s incredible suite of free youth and family programs. Trevor graduated in 2014 from Boston University with a degree in marine science. It is this passion for the world’s oceans that initially inspired Trevor to join Save the Harbor in their mission to restore, protect and share Boston Harbor for everyone to enjoy. When not out on the beaches or working for Save the Harbor, Trevor enjoys exploring the local restaurants around his apartment in Jamaica Plain and going to the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s midnight movie screenings. 

How are you staying connected to green and blue spaces while in quarantine?  
I’m finding it to be especially difficult to be away from Boston Harbor at this time as I shelter-in-place with my family in Newburyport. However, I am lucky enough to still be able to engage with Massachusetts Bay every day while taking my dog Rory our for walks along the Merrimack River and while hiking around the tidal marshes and beaches at the Plum Island Wildlife Refuge. It is encouraging to see the residents of Newburyport band together to embrace the social distancing guidelines like keeping a 6-foot distance on bike trails and foot paths as well as the overwhelming number of people I have seen wearing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.

What new hobbies have you picked up during quarantine? 
Since the beginning of the state’s shelter-in-place order, my family and I have finished three puzzles and are currently working on a fourth. I have also built LEGO models of the Big Ben clock tower and the Night Bus from Harry Potter. 

Do you know a local hero that you would like to thank during the quarantine? 
I would like to give a huge shout-out to our health care workers who are on the front lines fighting this virus. I am especially inspired to see my twin sister, who is a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, working tirelessly to help not only those suffering from COVID-19 but also the patients she would be caring for under normal circumstances.

Maya Smith, Community Engagement Coordinator
Maya Smith is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. She joined the team in late October and loves building relationships with community members and teens in our programs, while connecting people to resources.  She is a 2018 graduate of Suffolk University’s Youth and Community Engagement program, with a major in Sociology and minor in Education.  Her quarantine ”silver lining” is that she’s gotten to spend time with her mom and little brother learning to make homemade pizza and pasta!

What new hobbies or activities have you picked up during quarantine? 
As the Community Engagement Coordinator, I am an extremely extroverted person who has been spending these socially distant days trying to find any way possible to connect with people virtually. I’ve taken up virtual movie nights, games nights, and have even joined a virtual trivia team with my friends! Zoom and I have spent plenty of time getting acquainted and are happily celebrating our 7th week together under quarantine.

How are you staying connected to green and blue spaces during the quarantine? 
I am trying to maintain my connection with the community and Boston Harbor by making videos of myself constructing marine crafts to share on our YouTube and social media. My hope is that these videos will keep the community connected to the harbor, while giving them something fun to do. I even do the crafts with my own family to make sure they are fun!

If you were a marine animal, what animal would you be? 
I’d be a beluga whale for sure! I love the song Baby Beluga, plus they are super vocal and social animals.

What is your favorite marine joke? 
What did a pirate say on their 80th birthday? Aye matey!

Bridget Ryan, Lead Teacher
Bridget Ryan (or Sea Senora as her shipmates call her) is the Lead Teacher for the Summer Youth Programs at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. As Lead Teacher, she runs the day-to-day operations in the summer for our Boston Harbor Explorers and All Access Boston Harbor programs. She has worked at Save the Harbor for the last eight years, and always enjoys jumping in the freezing harbor to raise money for beach events with the Shamrock Splash, watching her O’Bryant kids win the Fan Pier Fishing Tournament, and kayaking on the Fort Point Channel with the summer staff. During the school year, she teaches government to 8th and 12th graders and coaches the varsity girls’ soccer and softball teams at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury. As a South Boston resident, she is able to stay connected with Boston Harbor every day during this quarantine.  With a recent purchase of a pair of rollerblades, she’s been skating around Castle Island and along Carson Beach, knowing that someday soon we will be fishing, crabbing, and hosting beach bashes with the summer staff.

If you were a marine animal, what animal would you be?  
I would be a lobster!

What is an interesting fact about you?  
I am a 2005 USA Rugby National Champion!

Do you know a local hero that you would like to thank during the quarantine?  
All of the health professionals, especially my mom, a nurse at UCONN Health Center, are heroes in my eyes.

Hannah Bernstein, Events & Programs Assistant
Hannah Bernstein joined Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as the Events & Programs Assistant in January and has been working on graphic design, social media, event planning, and more. She loves finding new ways to connect Greater Boston residents to our beautiful local blue and green spaces. She is graduating from Northeastern University in June with a double degree in journalism and environmental science, and before coming to Save the Harbor, she worked at MIT’s Energy Initiative and the environmental magazine Ensia through Northeastern’s co-op program. She became passionate about conservation and environmental education during college and hopes to work in science communication full-time. She lives in Jamaica Plain, taking long quarantine walks in the Arnold Arboretum, birdwatching from her deck, and satisfying her cat’s endless need for attention now that she’s working from home.

How have you stayed connected to green and blue spaces while in quarantine? 
I live by the Arnold Arboretum, so I take a lot of walks there. It’s also a great place to birdwatch, and since it’s spring, a lot of birds are returning from their winter migration routes and making a lot of noise. It’s fun to try and identify which birds I’m hearing. 

What new hobbies have you picked up during quarantine? 
I’m one of those people who always needs to keep my hands busy, so I’ve been exploring a lot of different crafts like embroidering, knitting, and painting.

If you were a marine animal, what animal would you be? 
I would be a blowfish because I’m usually pretty quiet, until I get passionate or excited — and then I am loud and puff up!

Joye Williams, Senior Staff Assistant
Joye Williams is the Senior Staff Assistant at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. She loves being part of Save the Harbor because she’s been enjoying the beaches and Boston Harbor Islands since she was a very young. Joye finds meaning and value in work where she is part of a team that uplifts the community, especially our youth. Previously, she worked as an executive assistant to the CEO at local nonprofit in Dorchester. Joye also owns an herbal remedies business called Joyefully Natural. Joye loves the outdoors, especially camping, gardening, and of course the beach! She comes from a family of avid beach goers who love to enjoy Massachusetts beaches all year long.

Do you know a local hero that you would like to thank during the quarantine? 
I would like to express gratitude to everyone showing their support during these times, from my team at Save the Harbor to small businesses that are still finding ways to be supportive to their community. Of course, also the heroes at the frontline, our health care professionals.

What new hobbies have you picked up during quarantine? 
I have explored cardio dance classes, concerts, and networking events. I’ve also been trying my hand at some fancy new recipes, ones I felt I didn’t have time for before. I have been adopting more time to doing things I always enjoy(e) like dancing, preparing my garden, reading, connecting with friends and family virtually.

Bruce Berman, Director of Strategy and Communications

Bruce Berman joined Save the Harbor as our BayWatcher in 1990, to help shape and share the Boston Harbor success story with the region’s residents, ratepayers, decision makers and opinion leaders. He has served as Save the Harbor’s Director of Strategy and Communications for 30 years.  An award-winning television producer, author, advocate, and educator, Berman taught marine science, public policy and communications at Boston University for 15 years. He is now collaborating (remotely) on a book on the politics of fisheries management in the United States as a Visiting Scholar at Brown University. Bruce lives with his wife Patty Foley, who was President of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay from 1999 – 2019. Though they are currently sheltering in place at their condo in Brighton, they typically spend more than 200 days a year on Boston Harbor on their 1987 DeFever 41’ trawler “Verandah”, which is berthed at Constitution Marina in Charlestown.

How have you stayed connected to green and blue spaces while in quarantine?  
Though I try to spend as much time as I can on the harbor, this year I have been following the guidance, and staying close to my winter home. I try to spend some time every day outside, at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the historic Evergreen Cemetery, which are truly beautiful spaces.

What new hobbies have you picked up during quarantine?  
No new hobbies, but I have renewed my passion for photography. I am presently curating the thousands of spectacular images of Boston Harbor, Mass Bay and the Boston Harbor Islands that I have taken over the years. I’m also binge watching NCIS, Blacklist, and Person of Interest on Netflix and playing Pok√©mon go (remotely) with my friends on Team Instinct.

If you were a marine animal, what animal would you be?  
Ask around. I am a marine animal - a unique species of charismatic megafauna who simply couldn’t survive without the sea.

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