Joy began volunteering with Charleston Waterkeeper in January of 2015. Joy has become a real asset to our organization by getting involved with as many volunteer opportunities as she can get her hands on. She trained as a Field Investigator for our water quality monitoring program and has provided expertise and research for the Gadsden Creek campaign. We hope you enjoy getting to know another one of our outstanding volunteers in this Saloon Session!
-Tell us briefly about your background.
I am originally from Springfield, IL and spent most of my summers growing up on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. I have been swimming and boating since I was a year old. Today, I enjoy offshore fishing and scuba diving and exploring the water of Charleston.
-You have quite a bit of background in the regulatory community – tell us more about your experience in environmental work.
I have 8 years of years of dedicated State service as a project manager enforcing Federal and State regulations which included Clean Water Act (40 CFR 122, 136, 403, 405-471, 503), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), and 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 300, in response to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. This also includes, practical knowledge and field work experience reviewing complex engineering calculations and plans and direct review of the work submitted in reports by professional engineering personnel. I also ensured that all plans and drawing standards, specifications, and data were up-to-date, and I authorized contractors to carry out all alterations, modifications and additions to submitted plans.
Besides scientific and technical experience, I also have experience in magazine, instructional, scientific and technical writing. I am the author of an article in Picture Framing Magazine national publication; author of a manuscript, “Abandoned: The History and Legends of Central State Hospital of Indianapolis”; author of fifteen instructional booklets for Fibre-Craft Materials Corporation. I developed, edited, and distributed the “GreenSteps Program”, an environmental management program to help Indiana schools become greener and healthier, for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
-Why is clean water important to you?
The quality of water is very important to me. I have seen the effect of contaminated ground and surface water from human impacts. It was commonplace in the 70’s to dump chemicals in our local drains and today we see the consequences. When you sit in a room with a family, who cannot live in their home due to toxic vapors and contaminated water, and a large corporation, who is responsible for the contamination, offers to buy their family home, it can’t help but affect you. We are responsible for what we do to our environment and the waterways we enjoy. If we do not protect them now, they will not be here for us to enjoy in the future. I want to know that the water I swim in, isn’t going to compromise my health.
-We are fascinated by your diving stories – what’s your favorite story or find from diving locally?
I wish I had an exciting story of my underwater adventures, like seeing Aquaman or finding Atlantis, but that isn’t the case. I have been diving the Cooper, Wando and May Rivers for about 15 years and currently a PADI Divemaster. Scuba diving for sharks teeth and other fossils in Charleston led me to take a geology class (for fun). Two years later I ended up with a Geology degree. While diving, I find fossils of all kinds of creatures; both land and water. This includes, turtles, whale, horse, sloth, manatee, but the most popular is Carcharocles megalodon, an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 15.9 to 2.6 million years ago that has teeth as large as 7 inches. Some debate it was a descendant of today’s Great White. While I am excited about the Geologic history of the area, finding a wine bottle from the 1860’s, a small ink bottle from the 1700’s, or Coca-Cola bottles from the 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, are just as exciting. It gives the waters of the area a human element; a time capsule of life before development of the coastlines. Because of my interest in the historic trash that is underwater, I also volunteer for USC SC Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Maritime Research Division on their research and investigation of potential underwater historic sites.
-What’s something that your fellow volunteers may not know about you?
I can play several different musical instruments and won numerous ribbons for photography at the county and State fairs in Indiana. I can also install plumbing and electric to code, as well as repair appliances. I am well-travelled. I am a certified Blackwater diver which is only offered here in Charleston. Spent a combined 5 weeks scuba diving in Hawaii and 1 1/2 week on a live aboard diving the Great Barrier Reef. I have been to Germany on a genealogy trip to find my grandfather’s roots. My favorite city is Prague.
-Anything else you’d like to share?
I believe that one person can make a difference.
On Memorial Day 2015, a project I have been working on since 2005, came to an end. I spearheaded a project to have a war veteran’s grave repaired. Here is the article: http://bit.ly/1FSf9Ip.