June 01, 2012
The PILP stipend made it possible for me to spend the summer interning at Columbia Riverkeeper. Riverkeeper is a Hood River, Oregon-based organization that seeks to protect and restore the water quality and habitat of the Columbia River by advocating for the enforcement of state and federal laws. Although small, Riverkeeper is extremely effective. During 10 short weeks, I had the opportunity to observe and contribute to multiple projects benefiting the Columbia.
I worked closely with the Executive Director on several major issues, including proposals to export coal and liquefied natural gas, plans to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and efforts to regulate emerging contaminants. Most of my time was spent researching, preparing internal memos, and drafting letters to local officials.
Each week, I participated in a staff meeting and met independently with Riverkeeper’s Executive Director. I received detailed notes on my written work and invaluable advice concerning the practice of public interest environmental law. In addition, I was able to sit in on several campaign planning meetings and, near the end of my internship, helped to lead a kayak tour through the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.
Working with Riverkeeper was extremely rewarding. I’m grateful to PILP for providing an opportunity to learn from the talented staff of such an inspiring organization.