Youth leaders are paid $15 per hour in year-round cohorts to learn about Puget Soundkeeper's clean water work including water quality issues, particularly stormwater pollution, in the Puget Sound. Activities include stream monitoring, kayaking, marine debris cleanups and outreach to the local community. The youth interns are demographically representative of the communities and watersheds where they live which include Auburn, Kent, Renton in the Green-Duwamish River Watershed including Springbrook Creek; Bellevue and North Seattle in the Cedar River and Sammamish River Watershed; and, Federal Way and Tacoma in the Puyallup River and White River Watershed. Youth interns were 53% female and 47% male and ranged in age from 13 to 23 years old.
From Ashley, Youth Intern: Touring the water treatment plant was one of my favorite activities that we got to do through our program. I will admit that before going to the plant I never thought about what happens to all the "stuff" that gets flushed away or disappears down our drains. It was eye opening to see the journey that it all goes though and to learn about how much the process gets messed up if something gets flushed that shouldn't be there. Going on that tour made me so much more mindful when it comes to making sure that what goes down my drains is safe for our environment.
From Adrian, Youth Intern: A success I've had with this project is being able to walk away with so much information and knowledge whenever we have a workshop or a site tour. I believe the opportunities and education these events provide me and my peers help nurture a new passion growing within us about the environment and ecosystems. Whenever we do outreach, I am confident in being able to explain what we stand for, what we do, and what our goals are.