As our time as AmeriCorps Patrol and Monitoring Members is coming to a close, we wanted to reflect back on our amazing nine months with Mobile Baykeeper and give you all a little insight into what we have accomplished and everything we have learned along the way. The AmeriCorps Patrol’s responsibilities lie in day-to-day watershed monitoring and scientific analysis. We are Mobile Baykeeper’s boots on the ground - a team of just four people. Our purpose was to help establish long-term changes in our water systems by attending to real citizens concerns, check construction stormwater compliance, test water quality, and more.
Sarah: From starting as an intern to finishing out the year with this wonderful Patrol team, this has been an awesome experience. We have had such fun times out in the field and in the office, including saving tortoises and going on kayaking adventures together. Serving as an AmeriCorps Patrol member was a unique opportunity, and gave us the chance to help out within our community and be a part of something pretty amazing. The coolest part about being on the Patrol team was seeing the direct impact we made with the things we did daily, and getting to learn how we can continue to make a positive impact in our lives after we are done with our service term.
Jamie: My year as an AmeriCorps member with Mobile Baykeeper has been a unique experience. From gaining new skill sets to working with such an amazing Patrol team, our times in the field are some of the most memorable I will carry with me. This term has allowed me to strengthen and discover new skills from my primary work in research to collect water quality samples that address ongoing issues in our city. The best part about the program is giving back valuable information to the community and engaging them to understand the importance of what we do at Mobile Baykeeper.
Lizzie: Although I started midway through the AmeriCorps term year, I immediately felt at home and welcomed by the entire staff and other members at Mobile Baykeeper. This part-time term has allowed me to grow as an individual and also to harness my skills working with a team. This opportunity has proved invaluable by exposing me to the unique and exciting world of environmental science and water keeping. Being able to work with such honorable and dedicated individuals on the Mobile Baykeeper team has been both an honor and a privilege.
I have no doubt that I will continue on with AmeriCorps for at least another year.
Ellie: This year with Mobile Baykeeper as an AmeriCorps member has been wonderful. I have been able to continue to develop many different skill sets, work with an incredible team, and have a positive impact on the community around me. It's crazy to think my time at Baykeeper is coming to an end after almost two and a half amazing years. I will be forever thankful for the opportunities this position has afforded me. Some of my favorite parts about being an AmeriCorps patrol member include many sampling adventures, kayaking trips, working with Plastic Free Gulf Coast, and engaging with citizens to ensure the health of our beautiful Mobile Bay.
This year, our goals were to resolve 60 citizen concerns, conduct 50 inspections, create 25 educational materials, give 15 presentations, and take 125 water quality samples. In fact we met all of these goals, writing 2 additional educational materials and taking a whopping 596 water quality samples. We then analyzed these samples in Mobile Baykeeper's lab, usually for the Swim Where It's Monitored (SWIM) program. The Patrol team even collected another 9,419 pieces of trash from the One Mile Creek Watershed. We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve done for clean water, clean air, and healthy communities around Mobile Bay.