by Laura Stone
One of my first tasks at Mobile Baykeeper was to write a blog about myself and what brought me to the organization. It was titled “My Circle of Life”. I described how growing up in Scottsdale, AZ made me curious and in awe of water, how that awe drove my studies in undergrad and graduate school, and how that knowledge turned into passion, which lead me straight to Mobile Baykeeper.
After more than three years working for Mobile Baykeeper, I am venturing on to work for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation located in Washington, DC – closer to my family and a new experience to add to My Circle of Life.
Now in my final weeks at the organization, I find it all too fitting that I write a blog about my experience here, why I will always be a Baykeeper, and how all of you reading this today should be a Baykeeper too.
Mobile Bay is a hidden gem. Maybe it’s because I am a “transplant” but this place is absolutely incredible. It has inshore AND offshore fishing, delicious oysters, crawfish, cobia, blackened redfish, shrimp, amberjack, and red snapper. (Can you tell I like food?) There are what seems like 2579231963 creeks, streams, bayous, and rivers to explore, a Delta that supports more species than most of North America, and last but not least, it has a community with heart.
What connects us all in Coastal Alabama is Mobile Bay. And just like a doctor monitors the health of his/her patient, Mobile Baykeeper monitors and speaks on behalf of the Bay to ensure its health and vitality. The team at Baykeeper is unlike any team I have ever been a part of. They are passionate, intelligent, strategic, and full of go-getters! The board and leadership at Baykeeper are invested and forward thinking. And the partners at Baykeeper are strong, reliable, and growing.
This organization has some serious heart. And I am so fortunate to have been a part of it all. I have trained kids to get “SWAMPed” and test, monitor, and love their waterways, researched the expansion of the Mobile Harbor Ship Channel, and sampled and collected evidence on how the coal ash at Plant Barry poses a threat to the Delta, the Bay, and all those who rely on it. Oh and of course I cannot leave out serving as the Racer Liaison for the Grandman Triathlon and writing numerous grants to support our mission.
My love for Mobile Baykeeper is ongoing. And from wherever I go in life, I will always advocate for Mobile Bay and invest in Mobile Baykeeper. And I’ll be back… for crawfish, red snapper season, Mardi Gras – and I will even try to race in the Grandman Triathlon.