As 2020 draws to a close, the NEC, like most species and habitats on the planet, has had to adapt to survive. We’re proud of our staff and so grateful to our members for rising to the occasion during a global pandemic and still accomplishing our community goals.
This year has shown the incredible strength, creativity, and determination of our staff. With COVID-19 crippling many nonprofit organizations, this one held fast. We stuck to our core programs and adapted everything to keep our community safe, all while working from home. We have truly learned the meaning of #alonetogether, and have taken every opportunity to grow the NEC as a team…virtually. Here is what the staff have been up to this year:
is feeling proud to have a full year of EcoNews design under her belt and is so thankful for the community’s positive feedback. In addition to keeping the community informed, she’s working hard on the NEC’s new waste reduction project: The Reduce Single-Use Pledge, which encourages restaurants to only provide single-use foodware upon request. Her next plan of attack is to reduce cigarette litter by collaborating with local bars and restaurants and offering low-cost cigarette butt receptacles to keep our streets and waterways clean.
has been working hard to make citizen science debris data collection an integral part of Coastal Programs. By introducing the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker App, data collected in the county has seen a significant increase. She has been working with a volunteer data analyst to make the data available to volunteers and shareable in media. Casey hosted a successful Coastal Cleanup Day that took place over the entire month of September in order to adhere to COVID-19 regulations. Coastal Cleanup Month was such a success that we will be carrying that platform into future years. NEC’s year-round volunteer cleanup programs have also been expanded. Trash Trackers is the new entry level program where anyone, anywhere can participate. Adopt-A-Beach & Block are intermediate programs where volunteers can adopt a beloved location.The Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) is the advanced level program where volunteers will facilitate their own scientific research within transects throughout the county.
has successfully transitioned EcoNews from a bi-monthly to a monthly publication and continues bringing new voices to the paper. She is building relationships and providing a platform for a diversity of contributors. Highlighting the voices of Indigenous, Black, Latinx and other People of Color and Queer environmentalists is a priority for EcoNews. To increase accessibility, Caroline is working to incorporate audio recordings of articles on the website and get funding for Spanish translation. In addition to writing for EcoNews, Caroline attends public meetings to stay up to date on local policy and advocates for the NEC.
has continued to help write our weekly “Mindful Mondays” social media posts: nature based wellness tips for staying well during these tough times. Brittany has also supported the new Reduce Single Use Pledge outreach, by contacting local restaurants to encourage them to sign on. In addition to these projects, Brittany provides administrative support by answering emails, updating memberships, listening to voice messages, monitoring social media, and more. Forthcoming, Brittany will be working on an educational diagram for our watershed model, and will be helping to create upcycled journals that will eventually be available for sale in our Eco Boutique! Keep an eye out for these exciting projects!