"What we have realized is that the more you know about our work, the more connected you are, and the more we can accomplish because we’re working together."
Meet Bentley, Nicole, Richardson, and Payton in "Meet the Interns: Part 2" and learn more about our wonderful team of interns.
Meet four of our eight summer interns and learn more about their unique backgrounds, skills, interests, roles at Mobile Baykeeper, and why they wanted to intern with us at Baykeeper. They have bright futures ahead of them!
I am falling in love with this city and its people. We have been so welcomed and my hopes of settling someplace that would give me the opportunity to be a voice and get heavily involved in the community are exceeding my expectations.
My childhood memories are filled with experiences of water – experiences on Mobile Bay. My adult life is filled with even more of those experiences and they are forever growing. I never miss an opportunity to embrace our wonderful bay and all of its surrounding waterways.
Take the first step! Pick up one piece of litter, start recycling, volunteer with Mobile Baykeeper, carpool to work. As you take each successive step you will be amazed at what will happen.
I realized I had been asking myself the wrong question all along. It wasn't what I was meant to do, but where I was meant to be.
"I am committed to Mobile Baykeeper because this organization proves its commitment to our community every day. Mobile Baykeeper strives to bring people and businesses together to create a healthy, vibrant community."
- Amy Powell, Treasurer
"I am a part of Mobile Baykeeper because they are the champions for protecting and improving our environment. I donate my time and talents to them because it is a good investment for the future of my children and my grandchildren."
- Ray Mayhall, Board Member
"My family and I give our time and support to Mobile Baykeeper because their mission impacts us all. Our precious environment, the resources and experiences we enjoy because of it, and the economic growth directly influenced by it, are priceless."
- Rebecca Williams, Secretary
"I support Mobile Baykeeper because they get things done. Casi and her staff are results oriented and are out every day in the community putting it on the line for us and our environment."
- Steve McClure, Board Member
"The work of Mobile Baykeeper helps make all of our communities great; great for our economy, great for our environment, and great for our people."
- Debbie Quinn, Board Member
"I am involved with Mobile Baykeeper because I believe in the work of protecting and preserving our water, our air, and our environment. It directly impacts my quality of life, my community's economic viability, and most importantly, my family's health and well being."
- Kellie Hope, Board Member
At Mobile Baykeeper, we are fortunate enough to have five different interns that help us carry out many of our daily tasks, and most importantly all share a common interest in our core mission and values as an organization. They are a very talented and diverse group of individuals, ranging from all ages, backgrounds, career and personal interests. Here’s a great chance to get to know them a little better.
Hanlon Walsh, 25 (Programs Intern)
Growing up in Mobile, like many of us, I’ve always had a great appreciation for our Gulf Coast. Whether spending time on the beach, exploring different rivers and creeks in my kayak, or going out for a cruise on a friend or family member’s boat, I try to spend as much time on the water as possible, which is what led me to Mobile Baykeeper. Being part of an organization that works to protect and preserve all of our local waterways has been such a positive experience.
I graduated from Birmingham-Southern in 2012 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Urban Environmental Studies. After graduation, I was in no hurry to start a career, so I moved out west to the rocky mountain paradise of Jackson Hole, WY, where I spent the next three years. During this time, I worked seasonally at a fine dining Italian restaurant, which allowed me to do quite a bit of traveling during the shoulder seasons to different areas throughout U.S., Central America, and Southeast Asia.
After three years, I was ready for a change and soon enough found myself back home interning for the summer. So far, I have done a little bit of everything here at Baykeeper. From conducting research and attending meetings for the Mobile Greenway Initiative, helping out with different community outreach events, or assisting the development director with the planning of our various fundraisers - every day at Baykeeper is always a different experience. It has been great to be involved with an organization that is so active in our community.
Nicole Bridgewater, 21 (Volunteer/Membership Intern)
Hi, my name is Nicole. I am from Pinson, AL, a small town just northeast of Birmingham. I am currently attending the University of South Alabama (Go Jags!), and will be entering my senior year this fall. I am majoring in marketing with a concentration in business management.
Coming from Central Alabama, one of the main reasons I wanted to move to Mobile was to be closer to the beach. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to hear about Mobile Baykeeper through Casi Callaway, who encouraged me to apply for an internship here. Thus far, I have primarily been working alongside Holly Dayton with all of our membership and volunteer coordinating activities. My main focus has primarily been assisting and organizing weekly youth community cleanups with organizations from around the country.
Interning at Baykeeper has truly been an eye opener for me. I have learned so much about the city of Mobile and how important is to be involved in your community, and these are valuable lessons that I will take with me wherever I go in the future.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Growing up I never thought of my mother as an environmentalist. I just thought she was frugal and smarter than the average bear! All of my childhood she would remind my siblings and I to turn the light off as we left a room, or to open the curtains to allow sunlight in instead of turning on a light. She would turn the water off while we brushed our teeth and prompt us to close the door so, “we don’t air condition the entire back yard!” She would emphasize the need to keep the car windows up on the interstate, “because it will decrease our gas mileage with the windows down.” She would repurpose items, reuse containers, and when the freezer was starting to get empty she would fill it with water jugs to “make it run more efficiently.”
My mother was not initially driven by a desire to be “green”, but by a desire to save money and energy. And let me tell you, it is catching! I still hear all of her advice in my head today and I share most of these things with my children as well. The urban dictionary has a great name for this: Accidental environmentalism.
I have taken the principles my mother instilled in me and have adopted additional family actions to be “green.” My family of four, two boys age 10 and almost 6, my husband and I have managed to get down to 1-1.5 bags of household trash a WEEK! Yes a week! Bottom line; If I can find a place where it can be recycled, it is not allowed in the trash. It still blows me away that we have such a small amount of trash, but I am quickly reminded weekly on garbage day, with neighbor’s trashcans overflowing, of all the work that still needs to be done.
When we first started recycling it was not an easy task, so we just collected paper. I placed a paper grocery bag next to our trashcan to help everyone remember. I would remove schoolwork, cracker boxes and toy packages from the trashcan daily, and talk to my boys about the importance of reusing something. I went on the City of Mobile website and found the nearest paper recycling receptacles (one at church…score) and would drop off a trunk full about once a month. This has gotten much easier with the addition of the Mobile County Recycling Center. Digging through the trash was not the highlight of my day, but it has paid off big time! In three months we all had the basics down and the boys started putting things in the right bins on their own. This action alone cut our weekly trash in HALF!
Then we started recycling plastic bags, plastic containers and aluminum cans. In the beginning, I would take the plastic grocery bags to stores that have recycling bins such as Publix and Target. Remembering to place them back in the car was the hardest part. My forgetfulness, or lack of repetition, would lead to taking large bags to the recycle bins at the grocery store and getting quite a few stares in the process. Now we take all of our items to the recycle center once a week as a family and the boys help me sort items into their proper bins. Since the opening of this amazing facility we have added glass, steel cans, and all plastics to the mix.
I am so proud of my husband and boys for putting up with my constant reminders to “put it in the recycle bin”, “that does not go there” and “take it out of the trash please.” We worked through the hard learning phase and recycling is now a simple daily task. My husband even shook out a bread bag the other day and put it with the plastics, I almost cried! Silly…I know!
We still make mistakes and are certainly not perfect, but I am teaching my family habits and values that will last them a lifetime. Maybe one day they will think back to all the “green” things we have done together, and it will inspire them to make their world a better place. It is best said in one of my favorite quotes, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This is true for our family and it can be for yours too!
Please visit some of these great sites to get your family started!
Recycling at Target
- Nickelle Stoll, Partnership Coordinator