Nature’s Irreplaceable Blessings
August 20, 2019

by Liz Choi

NVT has been a place of growth, peace, and true beauty surrounded by people sharing the same genuine respect for nature.

My experience with NVT has been a gift to me that I will hold closely to my heart. With moments of laughter, love, and excitement, it is impossible not to cherish each memory as a treasure of its own. Regardless of having my own marine debris project to work on, I was invited to ALL activities, excursions, and research that NVT was able to provide as an experience. All opportunities were open for exploration, and I could not have been evermore grateful for their support and encouragement.

In being exposed to everything I could have possibly imagined – from internal office research to external fieldwork, I was able to fill my internship months with an in-depth reality of what “working for conservation” truly meant.

Although devastated by the cold at times, working for nature had its own incomparable perks. Being part of a school clean up, as well as numerous educational sessions on how to “Adopt-a-Beach” made me aware of the power of programmes and events in bringing together children to not only learn how to preserve and sustain nature but to create a sense of gratitude in being able to enjoy the lush!

Mosquitofish surveying was the hardest, but it was also one I felt the most accomplished in fulfilling. I was super lucky to have the hottest days when I had to go in the water. I will never regret putting on the wetsuit on my last day of work. The cold water made the sunshine feel great afterwards!

Above all, I was most attracted to my own project on marine debris – especially microplastics. It took a long time to figure out the methods for surveying, sieving, and categorizing microplastics, as well as problem-solving grounded issues surrounding beach pollution. Nonetheless, in the end, it felt as if the project had grown alongside my own personal growth. Slowly, but gradually, there was progress where a small pouch of microplastics, which then turned into a bottle, and then numerous bottles labelled in various sizes! Believe it or not, I loved picking up nurdles (raw material shaped as pellets for plastic products; extremely minuscule in size) and I got better and better at identifying them that I could not leave the beach because I could not stop finding them!

A big thank you to all those who were by my side during this journey. To all the NVT members, Mark, Brittany, Kellyn and Kirwan – I could not have asked for a better group to work with. Special thanks to the housemates Faye, Lisa, Lauren, Brittany, and Ellie for all our times spent together & to South Africa – ‘til next time, cheers!

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