Intern Blog Take Over: Meet Marilyn


Marilyn chillin’ out at the Coosa River below Jordan Dam.

Hey everyone, my name is Marilyn! I am a senior Urban Environmental Studies major, Sociology minor at Birmingham-Southern College! I have had the pleasure to work as an outreach and program intern for Coosa Riverkeeper this summer.

I have always loved playing in and around the water. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and constantly fished on the St. Johns River and surfed in the Atlantic Ocean. Along with that, I have been a competitive swimmer my entire life.  I am always caught on pool deck or swimming open water races at the beach. My love for water made me want to be a marine biologist my entire life. Though I did not end up following that path, with a UES major, I am able to study water sustainability which is just as awesome!

So why is water so important? Well…let’s put it in perspective! To start, our planet is full of water, but very little of it is safe to drink. Over 97% of water on Earth is salt water. Of the 3% of fresh water that remains, over two thirds of it is locked away in ice caps and glaciers. The rest of the water is trapped in soil or in underground aquifers. That leaves only a tiny fraction available for humans to use. Out of the small amount of water that is usable for human consumption, a majority of it has become contaminated in the recent years.  An adequate supply of safe drinking water is essential for a healthy life, so why not be careful to take care of it! Along with that, if waterways are contaminated, it can negatively affect the health of both humans and animals. If the fish in a river are contaminated or have high levels of mercury, anyone who eats that fish or plays in that body of water can get sick from the contaminants. Long story short, lets protect our water! You’ll be happy you did!


Check out Marilyn’s Non-Point Source Pollution activity for field trips!

I care deeply about helping those around me and working for the Coosa Riverkeeper has helped me to fulfill that duty. I am lucky to work for an organization that selflessly strives to protect others and has such an amazing fan base to support the work that they do. I have had the honor to work alongside one of the Coosa Riverkeeper board members, Bram. His compassion for the river truly shined as he helped us gain footage for some films we’re working on. Everyone connected to Coosa Riverkeeper cares deeply to share their love with the river by showing popular swimming holes or explaining how water samples are collected and tested. Coosa Riverkeeper strives to make their results available to as many people as they can, utilizing every outlet given to them. I am proud to work with such an honest and caring organization. Save the skinny water!

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