When I first learned that I would be an intern for the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) I was ecstatic, especially since I just graduated UCSC with a Marine Biology degree and this was my first real world experience in marine conservation! I have learned so much on the issues concerning sea turtles around the world, along with what measures STRP takes to help manage these issues. My experience at STRP has made me realize I want to get into marine conservation and help save our oceans!
During my time at STRP, I was able to take on several projects, including: educating children about the seven species of sea turtles and why they are endangered, along with the effect of the Gulf oil spill; helped research for the AB 1998 Plastics Report, and refocused this report into three reports focusing on (1) U.S. West Coast, (2) California, and (3) Oregon; co-authored the U.S. West Coast Sea Turtle report; creating up to date volunteer resources where STRP can post opportunities for volunteers; created a guide on how to write a letter to elected officials about environmental and social issues; created a guideline to social media at STRP (a how to navigate through STRPís facebook and twitter pages); edited Wikipedia pages with relation to STRPís achievements; created a detailed list of useful educational material on sea turtles for teachers and for STRP to adopt. Also during my time at STRP I was given the opportunity to table at the Cal Academy Nightlife for Sharktober (10/14/10), helping to collect signatures for two petitions: to help save the Kimberly Coast in Australia and the Australian Flatbacks, from big oil companies, and to stop the Swordfish and Tuna Longline fishery in Florida to be labeled at ďeco-friendlyĒ; postcards were also encouraged to be signed, about three issues: (1) Obama, (2) Costa Rica Leatherbacks, and (3) the Kempís Ridley. I was also lucky enough to help table and sell merchandise at STRPís Sea Turtle Saturday (11/6/10) at the Aquarium of the Bay.
One of the main issues I worked on while at STRP was plastic pollution and long-line fisheries endangering sea turtles globally. It is heartbreaking to see how many turtles drown from entanglement from long-lining, as well as how many turtles die from starvation due to the amount of plastics they have consumed. Being able to help raise awareness of these issues and help petition these issues was truly a rewarding and an eye opening experience.
My time at STRP has been truly rewarding and far exceeded my expectations. I was taught something new everyday. All the professional skills and experiences I have acquired while working at STRP, will benefit me in any career. I am very grateful I was able to work with such a dedicated organization.