By Molly Sullivan, 2nd Year Student.
This summer I completed an internship working for the Surfrider Foundation. Growing up in Southern California, I practically lived at the beach and in the water; I even began sailing with my parents before I could walk! Therefore protecting oceans, waves and beaches – Surfrider’s integral mission – you could say is in my blood.
My main task this summer focused on raising awareness about Washington’s Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) process. MSP is an inclusive and cooperative approach to managing coastal and marine resources at the regional level. Since Surfrider is dedicated to recreational use and enjoyment of coastal resources, MSP is something they are passionately involved with.
I spent the summer educating the public about MSP and gathering support for Surfrider’s role in MSP by promoting the use of a recreational use survey. The goal of the survey is to understand how people are using Washington’s coastal resources, so that we can better protect areas with high recreational enjoyment.
It wasn’t all work though! In between tabling events at competitions, art walks and farmers markets, we volunteered as instructors for kids’ surf camps where we not only taught children how to surf, but also taught them about the importance of clean beaches and the hazards that plastics pose on the environment. The summer ended with a great conference in Westport where fellow Greener Senator Kevin Ranker gave the keynote speech.
Overall, my internship with the Surfrider Foundation was a wonderful opportunity that allowed me to incorporate my passion for the coast into meaningful outreach, while applying my interdisciplinary skills!