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Saloon Session with Grayson Bainbridge

Grayson Bainbridge joined the Waterkeeper team as an intern in the Summer of 2017. She is currently studying at Clemson University, with a focus on conservation biology. Though she was only with us for the summer, she was a natural fit and is greatly missed. We hope you enjoy getting to know another one of our outstanding interns in this new Saloon Session!

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Tell us a little about your background.

I am a local girl from James Island attending Clemson University. I am in the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences studying Conservation Biology as my concentration. I have always had a passion for life and experiencing the outdoors from a very young age, and have always felt as if it does not receive the protection it deserves. I will be graduating in May of 2018 and am hoping to one day work in water conservation.

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What is your connection to the water?

Growing up in Charleston, I was always on the water in one way or another- swimming, boating, kayaking, crabbing with my grandpa, to just sitting or playing anywhere near a body of water. My mom has always said she is surprised I haven’t grown fins by now! My ideal job to have when I was little was a mermaid, which always gave people a laugh. I can’t imagine I will ever lose the admiration I have for water and all it entails. When I am not around it or landlocked, I feel like something is missing. Having my life revolve around such a beautiful, nature based area has sparked my determination to protect and serve it as much as I can.

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What does conservation mean to you?

To me, conservation is protecting and improving what we already have for future generations to come, as well as ensuring everyone has equal access to the Earth’s resources. I want to use my passion and knowledge about the subject to spark something in others. Watching how technological life has become for so many, how it has become easier to throw an iPad in front of a bored child’s face instead of playing outdoors worries me. As children are being held back from all that nature has to offer, they will be less likely to want to protect it in the future. Conservationists are needed now more than ever, and it is our actions and words that will set the premise for how the environment will be cared for, for years to come.

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What was your favorite part of interning with Charleston Waterkeeper?

My favorite part of interning with Charleston Waterkeeper has been seeing how many people come together to help the organization in working towards their mission of serving and protecting our local waterways. I have worked with people of all ages at our events now, and it makes me so happy to see the amount of people that come out and support the cause. Not to mention, there hasn’t been a single event when there weren’t a good amount of new individuals showing up, which shows that the organization just keeps growing and growing. I am proud to have been apart of something like this!

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Anything else you would like to share?

I have learned a lot about water preservation and conservation working with Charleston Waterkeeper. I was aware of the issues that our watersheds (and water in general) are facing, but not how extreme these issues truly are. It has been an incredible opportunity to see the work that goes into testing these waters and to be shown all of the ways even one person can make a difference. I came into this internship hoping that it would provide me with answers about if this were something I would want to do in my future, and that answer is most definitely a yes. Thank you, Charleston Waterkeeper, or more specifically Cheryl & Andrew!