Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Joanne's Blog #1

Hi, I'm Joanne! I just finished my freshman year at UMass Amherst studying business and environmental science. I'm from South Boston and graduated from Boston Collegiate Charter School last May. At school I'm involved in Isenberg Global Citizens and will serve on the Eboard as an IGC representative this fall. I wanted go get involved in community service, and IGC does exactly that by connecting local organizations, government bodies, and nonprofit service opportunities to our business students to maximize a positive impact on the local community in Amherst and Western Mass. I'm also really into indoor cycling and moving my body in general, going on hikes and being outside! One of the reasons I wanted to work with STH/STB this summer is because I love being outside, who wouldn't want to spend all summer on the waterfront???? The other bigger factor is because I'm pursuing a minor in EnviSci and think (I say think because this is just a general idea) a long term career goal of mine is to work in Sustainability consulting and help others adapt to and mitigate climate change. Working here this summer will further my knowledge about climate change impacts on the Boston harbor and about the local marine life. 

I learned so many thing about the Boston Harbor Island while meeting David and spending time on spectacle island during orientation. The only previous background I had on the Harbor is that I knew it used to be dirty, but I had no scope of the history behind it or the work that was put into making it now the cleanest harbor in the country. I learned that spectacle island used to be a trash dump for the city of Boston and Quincy which is what made the harbor so dirty and then in the 80s/90s we sued the city and the federal government helped us clean it up. We fixed spectacle island by burying the trash with the dirt from the big dig and then we changed out sewer system. Instead of directly going into the water, our sewage now goes to Deer Island with the big white tanks to be cleaned and the solid waste is then turned into compost and sent to Florida to grow oranges!

Giacomo testing the water wheelchair at Revere beach during our accessibility audit!

I had never been fishing before our fishing trip during orientation so I learned so much about marine life. We went to go find black bass? or striped bass? IDK some time of bass which is one of the species of fish that lives in the harbor along with Tuna, Winter Flounder and Blues which I learned from trivia. Someone caught a skate on the trip which I didn't even know existed but is an animal that looks like a stingray but is closer related to sharks and swims at the bottom of the harbor floor. With all the green crabs we caught I found out they are actually invasive and originally from Europe. Apparently it's okay to kill them which I learned from Giacomo, Juner and Will smashing them off the pier at spectacle island. 

My favorite part of orientation was definitely the fishing trip. That was the first day of orientation so I met so many cool people willing and eager to share their knowledge about the harbor with me. I was a little bit nervous that I was going to be bad at fishing, but in my first week I've already caught crabs and sea squirts so I think I'm pretty good it at tbh. Also just being on the boat and getting to see pretty much every part of the harbor and all the different neighborhoods that it borders was super cool. 

Selfie of me at Revere beach

See you on the harbor!

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