This is it! Our internship experience is coming to an end. We’ve spent the last 8 weeks exploring the Everglades, sharing stories, laughter, and marl-filled shoes. Together, we’ve had several wacky experiences like being bitten to the bone by bugs and hastily preparing lunches in the middle of cypress domes. This internship opened our eyes to Everglades perspectives we’ve never heard before, and parts of Florida we’ve never seen before – some of us even got to see the ocean for the first time! To commemorate our time as John Marshall Everglades Interns, Thea designed t-shirts for us and our mentors, and we all wore it for our staff lunch on the final day in the office.
Our last excursion as John Marshall Interns took place on Monday, July 8th. We joined former Governor and U.S Senator Bob Graham for lunch, a fitting end to our everglades policy and science-focused internship experience. Bob Graham is an Everglades champion – he launched an extensive environmental protection program known as the Save Our Everglades campaign back in 1983 – and together, we discussed the current state of the Everglades and the challenges it faces in restoration. He left us with homework: to reflect on the importance of Everglades education and how we can improve the current Everglades education programs. His sentiments align the mission we’ve been carrying throughout these past 8 weeks: to protect and restore America’s Everglades through avenues like science, advocacy, and education.
Whether we move forward with a career in conservation, communications or education, we are all walking away with a new passion for Florida’s environment, and a deep understanding of the complexities of restoration. Because of our experiences as a John Marshall Everglades Intern, we’ve been filled with the drive to advocate for the Everglades, long after graduating, and continue to carry the legacy of John Marshall and The Everglades Foundation.
Though this is the end of our journey, we’ll always be connected through the Everglades.
Sending a warm goodbye,
The Cleverglades Interns 2019