Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, an organization based in Santa Rosa Beach "committed to sustaining and providing optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin watershed while presenting opportunities for citizens, educators, and technical experts to promote the health of the Choctawhatchee watershed." CBA recognizes that the health of water resources is vitally important to our local economy considering fishing, tourism, and our quality of life rely upon a healthy watershed. An important aspect the CBA focuses on is citizen education and involvement. It is necessary for locals to become active in the conservation of these valued resources.
Many skills were used and developed during the process of getting Service Learning hours. Firstly, I had to find and organization to work with! This led me to do some research about my area and what agencies are doing environmental work here. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of opportunities I came across as well as the sheer enthusiasm of such places to bring on volunteers. I got to use computer skills for checking and entering water quality data into the CBA's database. I hate to say I have not worked much with Excel, but my supervisor was more than happy to walk me through each step and I am glad I got some more practice on it. I feel as though knowing the program will certainly help me out with future jobs. I also tend to do things on my own. I had to go out of my comfort zone and work with a group for the oyster bagging and reef building. These activities could not be done by one person and the camaraderie was actually nice, especially since everyone working shared a common passion for a healthy environment. Becoming more adapted to group work will be advantageous for job opportunities. Not only did I get more relaxed in group settings, but I also spoke up and asked questions. Like I said before, I'm a bit of an introvert and stay pretty quiet. However, doing work I really enjoyed and am enthusiastic about made me want to learn more about why, how, what was being done. All in all, the experience was one I would never take back and I look forward to continuing volunteer work with both agencies.