A final goodbye from our summer outreach coordinators

Well, it’s been a fantastic three months, but it’s time for summer interns Mikaela and Megan to say goodbye and head on back to their university classes. Here are a few thoughts they wish to share about their summer with GSA:

We’ve had a great time working with Georgia Strait Alliancethis summer. With just over 30 events stretched over 90 days and spanning 15 cities, it’s been a great way to see our beautiful region and meet hundreds of truly wonderful and friendly British Columbians. We’ve had the opportunity to share our knowledge with people about things we genuinely care about and show them how they can help make a difference in the health of the Strait of Georgia. We’ve heard many varying stances on our work, and every thoughtful opinion has taught us more about the very complex conservation issues so many communities are grappling with in our region. This summer was a great learning experience and a big eye-opener for us.
Hundreds of people stopped at our booths over the summer, keeping us busy even on those rainy days that we were convinced would be a colossal failure. We encountered individuals of all personalities and beliefs; from avid supporters and environmental advocates to business-minded idealists and “conspiracy theorists.” Some stopped and talked to us for hours, while others dropped by briefly just to buy a bumper sticker. We received many donations from generous individuals, and it really made us feel great to be able to help GSA directly by being out there to get these donations.
Enthusiastic M&M in late May (Photo by C. Booler)

For this great summer experience, we are truly grateful to everyone who we have worked with and met during our events. We thank all the event coordinators who organized the amazing events that we attended and those that went the extra mile to help us out with a broken tent or a site map mix-up. We also thank everyone who dropped by to talk to us, and especially those who made us think outside the box. And of course, we thank everyone at GSA (I won’t name them, because they all helped us and they’re all equally amazing!); these amazing people made our summer job more than just a job, and they were more than co-workers and employers. GSA is a tight-knit family unit that we were honoured to be a part of for this short summer.

So thanks everyone for your support, and we hope to see you around! GSA will still be at select events throughout the fall and winter, so don’t forget to check out the events page every now and then.
– Megan and Mikaela
BUT WAIT, I hear you say: what about the poor Mermaid? Weren’t you supposed to rename her? Isn’t that what we’ve all been voting for?
Oh yeah, we’ve got a new name for her. Thanks to the 80 people who voted, we have drawn a name from the voting ballots and that lucky individual will be contacted shortly to get their ToxicSmart prize pack. There are two other lucky individuals who will be getting their own mega-prize packs soon, and those are the two people who entered our winning name. Congratulations Rachel and Claudia for entering our winning name…… (drum-roll please) 
Aria! 
That’s right, folks! You agreed (by a very narrow margin) that our Mermaid was best represented by an “expressive melody.” We also later learned that Aria is the Latin term for air, which seems fitting. Please keep in mind that this name is pronounced Arr-eea (like a pirate), and not Air-eea (like the Disney character), mostly because we prefer it this way. Besides, we had so many adorable little girls entering Ariel as a name over the summer that we quickly grew tired of the idea, plus we want to steer clear of any copyright issues… 
The last issue with our Mermaid’s name is creating her full name. We had originally said we would make it Aria Georgia, but it doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, so we will be keeping the Mermaid’s name as Georgia Aria. These can of course be switched around to your heart’s content; Mermaid names don’t follow the same rules as Human names.
So thanks again everyone for voting, and look for our lovely Aria out on the town at an event near you!

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