Tomorrow is the last day to apply to be a GRN intern this fall! I’ve posted the necessary info below, along with an inspiring write up from April Wilson, who worked with us earlier this year.The Gulf Restoration Network is looking for student leaders to get their campus and community involved in the fight to Defend Our Coast! From unspoiled wetlands, beautiful beaches, and cypress forests to the ports of Houston, New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, and Tampa, the Gulf is a unique and invaluable asset to the United States, and now is the time to make local and federal governments act to save it.In the Gulf Region, students can earn college credit while working on some of the most pressing environmental issues facing the region: restoring Louisiana’s coast and natural storm protection, protecting water quality, saving coastal cypress forests, defending Florida’s Gulf Coast, sustaining fisheries, and stopping climate change.Student leaders will be trained in grassroots organizing, advocacy, and communications while working closely with GRN issue staff to build the local, state, and national support needed to fix our coast and protect the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico.To learn more about internships available check out this link: http://healthygulf.org/staff/jobs-internships.html . For more information, feel free to contact Collin Fox Thomas, Campus Organizer, at collin @healthygulf.org or call 504-525-1528 ext. 200. September 9th is the deadline for Fall internships, so let us hear from you.And April Wilson says,”As the Gulf Restoration Network Media/Communications intern for the past eight months, I have learned so much about the environmental issues Louisiana and the Gulf Coast face in such a short period of time. GRN has opened my eyes to help me recognize that if you are concerned in any way with your life, future generations or the overall instability of the world, then it is vital to care and protect nature. Because without a healthy earth, issues such as race, politics, religion, gender equality, etc. wouldn’t exist.One of the most valuable lessons I learned from GRN was to expect the unexpected. As an intern I had the opportunity to do some “tabling” which consists of spreading information to the public through local events. Through tabling, I have learned how to communicate complex environmental issues to everyone, which I feel is a great asset to have. With people asking me questions, and having so many conversations, it made me look deeper and acquire more knowledge about some of these environmental concerns.I was astonished that so many people were so interested in these issues, but didn’t really know much about it. Some had an idea that environmental issues were occurring, but few knew exactly what the problems were or any of the possible solutions. It warmed my heart to know that once people began to understand the issues, they felt compelled to help in any way possible. This proved to me that GRN was stepping in the right direction by passing on the knowledge of how the importance of our environment which will help unite the public and help us push forward in the movement.One of best moments at GRN was when I got to fully run my own event. One of my professors from Loyola University informed the class that she was planning an earth day festival at her church. When I heard this, I knew I had to take a chance, and really come into my own. I decided to go with our Defend our Coast, Defend Ourselves campaign which confronts the fact oil and gas industries have made a significant negative impact to our wetlands and asks for accountability by these industries and our government. It also raises the issue that our wetlands are not only vital to our storm defense, but to our local economy, fisheries, energy, and communities. Within the campaign, we ask the public to sign a petition to Governor Jindal that requests that he make coastal restoration a top priority. It took a lot a planning, but with a lot of effort and great advice from GRN staff, it turned out to be a great event. Over 50 people signed the petition, many more took information packets, several people invited us to future events, and a few even signed up to become members.Overall, this experience has been valuable to my future goals and I have learned how to work as a team player, which I believe is necessary to any successful environmental organization. GRN has taught me how important it is stand up for what you believe in and to always be conscious of your actions and how they may affect your environment. This opportunity has widened my understanding of how an environmental organization works, and what are the most effective ways to relay key messages to the public. I have truly enjoyed working at GRN. Due to great experience I had, I have decided to continue working in the environmental field now that I have graduated. Thus, I would like to thank all of the GRN staff for helping be blossom into a more caring, worldly and responsible person. I will always be indebted to for taking on the difficult challenge to be part of the environmental movement that will hopefully make the world’s life, and mine, better. “Thanks to April and all of the interns and volunteers who give their time and passion to fighting for the Gulf Coast.Dan Favre is GRN’s Campaign Organizer.

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