I had an incredible experience interning with the Marin MPA Watch this summer. I loved the fact that I was able to help to explain the importance of marine protected areas and share my appreciation of our coast with the public. I am so happy to have been part of a citizen science program as I believe that citizen science is one of the best ways to allow volunteers to support greater environmental causes in a tangible way. Additionally, I enjoyed working with the West Marin EAC and witnessing how partnerships with like-minded organizations, such as the CA Academy of Sciences and the NPS can make a program like MPA Watch flourish. Finally, Morgan and Amy were amazing mentors and worked hard to allow us interns to be integral parts the Marin MPA Watch team.
— Geneva Gondak, University of Pennsylvania - Summer 2015 Intern
Working with the Marin MPA Watch has taught me many things; how to be a leader in the fight to protect our coastlines, how to become a teacher and spread awareness in the community, and how to positively influence future generations by getting kids involved in the process. This summer we worked with a lot of kids in the community to make marine debris art projects that would be displayed on California Coastal Cleanup Day. As an art major in college, I was thrilled to be able to work with the kids on the art and to help to organize the artwork and its display. This has been an enriching experience, and getting to walk on the beautiful beaches of West Marin all summer was icing on the cake.
— Kelly Pennypacker, University of California Santa Cruz - Summer 2015 Intern
The MPA program has combined two of my favorite things: helping the environment and spending time on the beach. Now that I am an official volunteer and intern, I no longer venture out to the coast purely for recreational purposes, but to accomplish, through data collection and trash clean up, a feat much greater and more valuable. Every time I have gone out for training and volunteer service has been a new experience. Surrounded by a magnificent backdrop, discovering endangered bird species and elephant seals, adventuring with fellow volunteers, the MPA program has created an opportunity for people to experience real beauty while teaching volunteers about our impact on the environment and how we can retain this beauty through such data and trash collection, and the growing awareness of the harm we can cause
— Gabriella Doerschlag, Marin Catholic High School - January 27, 2015
Being a Marin MPA Watch volunteer and intern has been an amazing and inspiring experience. Not only do I have the opportunity to learn about why these beautiful areas are so important to preserve, I have the opportunity to help with hands on experience. With this program I feel like I am making a difference for a healthier environment.
— Alexandra Fahey, Sir Francis Drake High School - February 11, 2015
Just a couple months ago, a friend of mine who is an intern for the MPA Beach Watch organization invited me to attend a beach cleanup. I thought I would join her because it sounded like a great opportunity to earn service hours, but it turned out to be an incredible experience for me. After four hours of work, our crew collected several garbage bags filled with all sorts of trash that had been crowding our beautiful beaches. After hauling the garbage bags back to the parking lot, we sorted the enormous pile of trash. This was a very rewarding experience for me because our crew was able to prevent countless animals from choking on these small pieces of garbage and make our beaches a whole lot cleaner. I will definitely be returning to these beach cleanups in the future to help save the environment one step at a time.
— Michaela Andrues, Marin Catholic High School - January 25, 2015
I had an absolutely amazing experience with Marin MPA Watch. Cleaning trash off the shores of Drake’s Beach made me feel like I was making a tremendous difference to the environment. I recommend everyone to go out and join the group clean up the shores.
— Nina Van Midde, Sir Francis Drake High School - February 11, 2015
I didn’t know what to expect going on the mpa beach watch, but I ended up loving every second of it. People don’t realize how important it is to monitor these marine preserves that are teeming with wildlife. If you like long walks on gorgeous beaches and want to do more to protect the environment, than I highly suggest coming out for a day and seeing what the mpa walks are all about
— Catherine Collins, Marin Catholic High School - February 10, 2015