Island Updates

first impressions

First Impressions of Hurricane Island

Below are a few of our intern's first impressions of their new home and workplace for the summer, and the start of their adventures on Hurricane Island.

Bailey MoritzSpotting porpoises, checking lobster traps, hiking up an appetite for homemade bread, peacefully watching the sun set. What more could one ask out of their first few days on the job? Already we’ve experienced a range of weather conditions, from burning sun to driving rain to wind with a nod of affirmation to the islands name. With each turn of the clouds, a new side of Hurricane Island comes out. It makes me realize that no matter how many days I spend out here, I may never be able to experience every angle of its beauty. That’s a special thing and I’m so excited to be out here!

Walking to the galley the other evening, we could see the Farm to Table guests enjoying the waterfront, students from the WFR training program up on the rocks reenacting anaphylactic shock, and staff members unloading the truck from our campfire cookout. There are so many moving pieces, so much activity going on at once, a span of tasks tiny to daunting, and yet it seems to work in orchestra. Everyone moves about in a perfectly busy sort of sync. Things get done. Things get done together. And there is nothing more welcome that stepping up and doing things that need doing. I am already humbled by the knowledge that is present here amongst the other members of the island community. From bird calls to boating skills, I can tell I’m going to learn so much on a day to day basis. I’ve already got my eye on a handful of edible plants I never knew about. Here’s to a full and engaged summer!

Olivia LukacicGiddy nervousness was all I was feeling Monday morning as the interns gathered at the office in Rockland awaiting our boat ride out to the island. And what an amazing day to greet us-but even better than that is the community here that has already welcomed us new friends to the island.

Our whole time, out of the less than forty eight hours that we have been here, has been a wonderful introduction of learning the ropes of the island, gaining understanding of work flows, and watching in awe of how everyone helps out and is constantly evolving in their role.

I am on Hurricane this summer to be an educator and yet I am thrilled by how much I am going to learn and grow myself. On the first day on the island, Oakley took a group of us out on one of the boats to check his recreational lobster traps. Not only was it fun and beautiful but I learned a bunch about boating and the local lobstering community. For example, you can determine the gender of a lobster by looking at a set of swimmerettes on the underside near all the legs by whether they are more delicate and smaller or more robust. Also I used a tool to see if the lobster was large enough to keep! If they are not big enough we tossed them back into the water and sometimes when their claws are up over their heads they look like superman descending into the depths.

We have walked some of the many beautiful trails to look at the variety of ecosystems and see the parts of the island as well as check out the sustainable infrastructure that helps us run off the grid. I think my favorite place as of now is looking out to Two Bush Island since it is a curious island that can be accessed by foot during low tide. I hope to explore it more soon!

Jacque Rosa- It’s day two on Hurricane Island, and it has been another jam-packed day for us interns. Starting a new job is always a whirlwind of names, policies, and duties, but so far it has been nothing but fun.

I moved from Catalina Island (off the coast of Los Angeles), to this one (off the coast of Rockland, Maine). I’m not sure I could get any further across the country if I tried.  Although I’m accustomed to an island lifestyle, life on Hurricane is still full of new experiences, and I am welcoming each one with open arms. This island is a mix of old and new: historic buildings with recent additions, old traditions with a fresh twist, and old timers showing new hires the ropes. To date, all my previous internships and jobs have been in organizations that were quite established, and in some cases, they were quite large too. It is exhilarating to be part of a program that is relatively new and still growing. I am seeing the inner workings of a non-profit organization, from networking and logistics, to lesson plans and program development. I am eager to contribute and help this community grow as the summer goes by.

So far we have explored the island quite a bit. We hiked the perimeter trail and visited the two highest points on the island. While the views from the High Cliffs are gorgeous and the forests offer a huge variety of plants, flowers, and birds, I am especially excited to start digging into the intertidal. Exploring marine habitats are always full of surprises. Under any rock or piece of algae could be an opportunity to catch a glimpse into underwater life.

There seems to be so much to learn here from each person I meet and each place I visit. It is great to be surrounded by people as eager and passionate to learn as I am. Our staff contains a unique mix of knowledge and experience. I have no doubt that together we are going to make wonderful things happen on Hurricane Island. 

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First Impressions of Hurricane Island: Alyssa

Post by Alyssa Hall, summer intern.

I consider myself to be pretty environmentally savvy. I religiously recycle, I bring my own bags to the grocery store, I attend my local farmers market as much as I can (probably twice a month or so) and I’m even pursuing my Masters degree in Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As such, I am constantly inundated with the concept of sustainability. So much so that I think I had forgotten what it really meant—that is, until I walked ashore on Hurricane Island. As soon as I arrived, I was instantly reminded that it isn’t just a concept. In fact, with just a little bit of focus, it’s achievable.

When I found out I was hired by the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership in March, I needed some way to try and get my bearings. Having never been to Maine before, I poured over the foundation’s website to learn as much as I could about where I was going to be spending my summer. It was very apparent to me that this community took pride in their sustainability efforts on the island. And as soon as I got here, I knew that was true.

It is amazing for an organization like Hurricane Island to be so excited by the opportunity to be sustainable even in today’s world, which is so focused on practicality. They really have thought of everything. From the multitudes of solar panels and water heaters, composting toilets, constructed wastewater treatment wetlands, Hurricane Island has done everything it can to create a sustainable community. Sustainability has become an inner mantra and is engrained in everything we do here.

My job this summer is to work with this amazing group of people to develop the educational programs that we offer. But really, my job is already done. All that I need to do is show you what this amazing island community is all about and I can guarantee you’ll want come here. No matter what you do this summer, make sure you get here. Come visit with an open mind and an open heart, and it will be an experience to remember. Keep your eyes and ears open, and I’ll see you on the island.

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