What a busy time it has been! September has flown by and with the change of seasons I have some big changes as well!

On August 31st, my internship with the Chesapeake Bay Program concluded. The summer was more than I could have ever hoped for and reaffirmed my goal to work in environmental journalism. With determination and focused hard work, I’m sure I will be able to carve out my path. Check out one of the last pieces I did for the Bay Program here!

And now I’m on my way to learning and growing more as a photojournalist. Two weeks ago I started at the photo editing intern at Education Week and began my journey to dive master at Kent Island Scuba. While the days are long and the commute less than ideal, I am proud of the work I am already helping produce.  

To see what I did during my first weeks at EdWeek, check out this Instagram story about Hurricane Maria and the effects that are still being felt one year later.  (Click on the highlight “Puerto Rico”)

Oyster Delivery Day

I haven’t always loved oysters. When I was young, I was turned off by the raw, seemingly slimy creatures and their uneven shell homes. But, as I got older and my palate expanded, I fell in love with them. I was lucky enough to grow up in New England, where you can sit on tall bar tables on the side of brick sidewalks and eat oysters that may have been in the water that morning. Some of my favorite memories in high school, and later on college breaks, were going to Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth, N.H. with my friends and enjoying an evening of good food and company. It’s funny how small things like food and location can do so much good for the soul.

Working in the environmental field, I began to love and appreciate them beyond being served on the half shell at my favorite oyster bar.

The first time I saw the ever popular demo of “this is a tank of bay water” and “this is a tank of the same bay water, but with oysters inside,” I was in awe. How could such a small, squishy creature turn murky, brackish water into a crystal clear pool. Upon doing more research, I discovered just how important oysters are to the ecosystem. From filtering sediment and contaminants out of water to creating habitat for fish and other invertebrates, the importance of oysters in the efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay cannot be understated. These small bivalves can filter fifty gallons of water per day, making healthy habitat for the return of underwater grasses, among other creatures.

Because of this, oyster restoration has become a focus of many environmental groups. This past Saturday, volunteers flocked to Phillips Wharf Environmental Center to pack oysters seeded with spat (baby oysters) into cages. The cages were then picked up by a fleet of “truckers” - volunteers who brought the cages to various private docks around Tilghman Island, Md. Over 250 cages were filled and delivered by noon.

Efforts such as this is what propels environmental movements forward. While it’s undoubtedly important and helpful to have legislation and lawmakers in our corner, much of the work is done like this- with community members volunteering their time towards environmental action they know to be important.

If you’re looking to find a group to volunteer with, or to learn more, check out the Find a Group page at!

Conowingo Dam Coverage

Since my first day at the Chesapeake Bay Program, I feel like I’m constantly learning and catching up. First, it was learning the slew of acronyms that quickly started to look like alphabet soup in my brain - TMDL, SAV, GIT.  Then, I remembered something I once read, about how feeling dumb can be the best thing for you. If we allow ourselves to feel dumb, accept that there is something we do not know, then we are able to confidently ask questions, make observations, and enjoy the process of learning without the fear of being judged. So, I began asking a lot of questions.

“So, when we say SAV we are really talking about underwater/bay grasses, but we say SAV?”

“What exactly is a watershed?”

“So, if we are advocating for something the waterman/farmers/residents don’t necessarily want or can afford, how do we help them without being pushy or degrading?”

Once I began asking questions, I began learning.  If you know me, you know that means I usually start telling people the amazing new things I learned. I would grin and tell my friends all about the bay grasses we saw during an aerial flight or why it was so interesting to see a nutria in Great Falls park.  I began to find the intersection of my photography skills and love for environment that I had been searching for when I sought this position.

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