Hello! My name is Arryn Weeramuni, my pronouns are he/him/his, and this is my first summer working at Save the Harbor. I live in Jamaica Plain in Boston and I am a rising senior at my highschool, Boston Latin Academy. I’ve been fascinated by zoology and the environment ever since I was a child, so I am very excited about starting this job! While much of my interest has been in terrestrial life, there is much that intrigues me about marine and costal life as well. It’s pretty awesome to be working with an organization that focuses on my passion for the natural world.
Already, we have done some work around understanding how to prepare for and act against climate change and I have found it quite empowering. Climate change is arguably the number one issue faced by the world right now, and it’s very important to me that I am working at an organization that is actively taking steps to combat it. I want to work in animal conservation when I am older, and you cannot do that without having an understanding of the environment. I may be planning to take an environmental science class this upcoming school year, but you cannot get the same understanding in class as you can actually working in the field. I’m glad that I will be getting this experience here!
This week, me and my group explored the Harborwalk area of Boston while focusing on the theme of the effects of sea level rise and how to deal with it. My coworkers are Jay, Marley, Aiden, Danny, Hope, and Ty, and our group leader is the fabulous Francesca. On Tuesday, our first day out in the city, we went to the Long Wharf. We used an interactive online map of Boston and the surrounding areas to understand what sea level rise and flooding risk is predicted to look like in the 2070s. The map also outlined areas where those who are socially vulnerable live, such as the elderly and those with low income. This highlighted the fact that if we as a community are going to deal with the effects of climate change most effectively, we must know who is most at risk.
On Wednesday, we explored the North End to get a grasp on how this neighborhood might be affected. A some of it is right on the water, and a lot of the neighborhood is on a hill. Hopefully the hill will help protect from sea level rise. We visited the Seaport the day after, which is facing a similar predicament, where all of the land is flat, likely due to the fact that it is all human-made. The district seems to exist in denial of the sea level rise that it will be facing. This is given all of the new development that has happened and is planned to happen in the area, especially given how commercial it is. We documented the old vs. new structures in the neighborhood. The juxtaposition of the two kinds of buildings was a bit disorienting.
I’m not sure what we will be exploring next week, but whatever it is, I know it will touch upon the things that I am interested in when it comes to the environment. It’s very exciting to know that this is the focus of my job. I can’t wait!
See you next time!
An apartment complex in the North End, facing the water.
Part of an old, disused bridge that used to connect the Seaport to the rest of the city.
A plaque on the ground in the Seaport, which I find to unfortunately glorify habitat destruction.
A tragic sight in the North End—a loaf of bread, abandoned on the ground!