Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Introducing Abby - Environmental Policy Intern Spring 2021

    Hello all! My name is Abby Beilman (pronouns: they, them, theirs) and I’m one of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Environmental Policy Interns for the Spring of 2021. I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity, and I can’t wait for what these next month will bring. Growing up, my family visited beaches in Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts every summer, and I still seize any opportunity I get to be at the beach. In recent years, however, increasingly frequent occurrences of Red Tide and severe storms have made these trips a reckoning with the reality of climate change in addition to an opportunity for outdoor recreation. This combined with my AP environmental science class in high school, where we took a field trip to the Assabet River to sample water quality and microorganisms, learning about the detrimental effects of a local sewage plant on the river, are what ignited my interest in environmental science and science policy.
Abby on a boardwalk along the Assabet River in Acton, MA.

Abby on a boardwalk along the Assabet River in Acton, MA.

    Currently, I am a sophomore at Clark University in Worcester, MA (commuting from my hometown of Acton, MA due to the COVID-19 pandemic) majoring in environmental science, with a concentration in Earth system science and a minor in political science. My passions have a broad range, but I am most interested in the intersection between science and politics, conservation, and policy - previously, I interned with my town’s natural resources division doing trail cleanup and historical documentation. Outside of my classes and working with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, I am also an avid reader (current recommendation: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson), cook (though I am a terrible baker) and player of the urban planning game SimCity. I also enjoy hiking and kayaking and have recently taken up crossword puzzles (which you will see at the end of this post)! 
    In my time with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, I am excited to learn more about the policy process, community engagement and organizing, and the nonprofit sector. I hope that I can start to apply some of what I’ve learned in the classroom to the real world and help in advancing Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s mission of providing clean and accessible beaches with amazing programs and activities for all through the funds raised with the upcoming Shamrock Splash. I am so thrilled by the work that this organization does, from water quality reports to public hearings to youth programming, and I cannot wait to immerse myself in it. When I came across Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for the first time, I was amazed by both the quality and quantity of work that they put out, and I am glad to now be a part of that.
A crossword I created, with the 9 towns of the Met Beaches Commission as the answers. I have included the solutions below, upside down so you don't accidentally spoil it! 

Kicking Off 2021 and My Internship at Save the Harbor


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. 

Here's a video of me juggling shells on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. It's a fun activity with no materials needed!