Grace Cooper – NAMEPA Intern Essay

July 24th , 2021: 

I was introduced to the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) my senior year of high school for our end of the year internship. Due to COVID-19, the internship was entirely online and I participated by creating educational videos on the marine environment for them. This past summer I wanted to intern with NAMEPA again because I loved working with them and am passionate about saving our seas. My high school intern experience with NAMEPA introduced me to the maritime industry and expanded my knowledge about the marine environment. I knew I wanted to continue to learn in these areas. Being an intern with NAMEPA this summer has been an amazing experience and it has helped me grow as a learner and educator.  

One of the first things I did as an intern this summer was help to set up a beach cleanup with one of our partner members. Through this experience, I learned how to research locations, send professional emails, and have professional phone conversations. I also learned a lot from the outreach programs, such as our virtual LAUSD program and in-person programs at the Southport Boys and Girls Club and the Stamford Boys and Girls Club. Through teaching these children, I myself learned more about the marine environment as well. I also learned how to become a better writer and how to write professionally through writing Press Releases and articles for the Newsletter. Finally, through talking with the staff at NAMEPA, talking with members, specifically GENCO at the GENCO beach cleanup, and from seeing how daily business is conducted, I learned a lot about the shipping industry. I got a glimpse into how the shipping industry was run and what events were held for it. I also learned about how the shipping industry strives to restore our seas, promote sustainable shipping, and engage the public to keep our ocean clean and safe.  

Working as an intern with NAMEPA this summer has also helped me grow as an educator. We did many outreach programs, as mentioned before with LAUSD and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southport and Stamford. I loved how with these outreach programs I was able to engage with and teach kids about the marine environment and the importance of protecting the marine environment. It was very fulfilling to be able to teach others about a subject that I am passionate about. I learned how to better communicate information to others and how to relay information to children of younger ages. I learned how to educate others on the marine environment, how to restore the marine environment, and what everyone can do to help save our seas. 

Being an intern for NAMEPA has been an amazing experience where I gained valuable knowledge, connections, and exposure to the real world workforce. The skills I have obtained will help me in the rest of my school-life and also when I enter the workforce. I have learned a multitude of knowledge about the marine environment, shipping industry, and conservation that will help me be a better environmental stewardess.  


By Grace Cooper

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