Intern Journal: Stevie

The Squam Conservation Internship provides skills and experience for future conservation professionals while working as the driving force behind the SLA’s conservation mission.  This volunteer internship provides hands-on conservation work experience and certifications over a broad range of activities.  Interns serve as campsite hosts and caretakers at our backcountry campsites, work toward the eradication of variable milfoil, help preserve loon populations on Squam, engage both youth and adults in environmental education, and perform other conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed. Learn more about the internship program here.

July 4, 2016

Stevie

Remember in the movie Back to the Future when Biff Tannen was chasing Marty McFly and he ended up getting covered in manure? Yeah, I can kind of relate to that after an incident cleaning out composting toilets. I feel you Biff, just not the times in the next two movies when the manure gets into your mouth. That’s just gross.

Anyways. Last Wednesday was a dive day during which we managed to remove roughly 70 gallons of milfoil. Not too bad. I’ve been getting better at controlling my breathing so I can stay down longer. It’s weird how fast time flies by when you get into the zone. It does get a little tedious after a while but hey, we get to go scuba diving for our job!

After being here for over a month, I’ve come to realize how special of a space Squam Lake is. I grew up in Claremont, New Hampshire where I would go to Lake Sunapee with my friends to swim and what-not. At Sunapee, there are so many waterfront properties that are right on the shoreline. There are no buffer zones of trees or shrubs between the houses and water. It doesn’t matter where you are on the lake, you will also see waterfront properties. Here at Squam it’s very different. There are a few houses on the water, but for the most part all you can see are trees, which is nice. Plus, the boating traffic is relatively calm. Sure, the channels can get busy and there are more boats around on a hot day, but generally you don’t see too much traffic. There’s something completely relaxing about coming back from camping in the early morning when nobody is out on the lake.

I was lake hosting at a boat ramp last week when someone started to question the point of conservation efforts. It was the only negative interaction I have had the entire time I’ve been here, but I’m glad it happened. It gave me the opportunity to look more closely at the work I’ve been doing and the purpose of it. I’m proud of the work I’ve been doing so far and the progress that all of us interns have made. One of the reasons that this lake has stayed the way it has over so many years is due to the hard work of people like us. The people that volunteer their time to conserve the watershed around Squam.

Stevie grew up in Claremont, New Hampshire and is currently attending the University of Vermont, UVM, where he's majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Wildlife Biology.

Read more Intern Journal entries here.