A New Generation of Advocates
One of the most effective ways to influence the future of our Bay is by educating and inspiring future generations of environmental advocates. This summer, CLA had the opportunity to work with three dedicated legal interns: Nicholle Vo, Class of ’20, and Colleen O’Connor Collins, Class of ’21, both at University of Maryland Francis King Carey’s Law School and Hannah Ford-Stille, Class of ’20 at Santa Clara University School of Law.
Together, this summer, these women worked on 14 different legal projects for 10 different CLA partners. During their time with us, they learned how to test for bacteria in the Bay, steer a 39 foot sail boat, and talk casually about the Clean Water Act, TMDLs, and land use issues that affect local water quality. We know these three will go far as passionate advocates, and we are thankful that we got to be a part of their Bay-related legal education. We can’t wait to see where they go!
“I had a wonderful experience this summer at CLA and am so happy I chose to intern with CLA this summer. My favorite moment of the summer was working with local Riverkeeper’s to test water in the watershed and learn why organizations are so dedicated to preserving the Chesapeake Bay. While at CLA, I worked on a variety of projects concerning constitutional environmental rights amendments, land use and permitting in Maryland, and WIP credits. My work and time spent with the team at CLA affirmed that I want to practice environmental law and want to continue to be an advocate for water rights.”
~ Hannah Ford-Stille, Santa Clara University School of Law, Class of 2020
“My two favorite experiences this summer were attending the Choose Clean Water conference and going out with the River Keeper to collect water samples. I think the CCWC was a great introduction to the communities and other activists we worked with through CLA and I learned about a lot of different issues those communities face. Going out with the River Keeper was a great experience as well. I really enjoyed the history of how Law and River keeping intertwine. One project I enjoyed working on this summer was the BOG project with Hannah B. We worked with a local community group and a volunteer attorney to re-classify a piece of property to a bog, allowing county protection and a safe habitat for the yellow finch. This was a really rewarding project because I felt I had a large role to play in the upfront research as well as communicating with the county government.”
~ Colleen O’Connor Collins, University of Maryland Francis King Carey’s Law School, Class of 2021
“My favorite moment this summer with CLA was our field trip with the Chester Riverkeeper. That experience gave us the opportunity to see the experts that CLA works with directly, in their own setting. It gave me a better perspective on how CLA can help riverkeepers and other groups in the Bay Watershed to push and enforce regulations. As a Maryland native, I am extremely thankful for my experience with CLA because I became so much more informed about the estuary that has always been a part of my life. By working on environmental justice and legislative issues, I became more familiar with how water quality plays a large part in the everyday lives of the many people who live around the Bay. Following my summer with CLA, I am eager to continue to advocate for Bay issues in my personal and professional life.”
~ Nicholle Vo, University of Maryland Francis King Carey’s Law School, Class of 2020