Hello Debris Brigade! My name is Caitlin Townsend. I am a graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a degree in Marine Science, Safety and Environmental Protection.
My love for the environment in general started at a very young age. I grew up in Truro, my father being a commercial lobsterman and my mother an artist. I lived the quintessential Cape Cod life as a child. I spent any free time I had in the woods, on the beach or on the water with my Dad. Recently I repeated Henry David Thoreau’s journey from Eastham to Provincetown on the outer beach, and completing that walk has seemed to complete me as a person. All of my life I have realized that there is a need for someone to help spread the growing word of climate change, about pollution, about sustainability and sustainable ways of life. I felt like after I completed that walk, I was that person.
What better way to help me in my journey of being that person than becoming a Marine Debris intern at the Center for Coastal Studies! Even better, my first project was the 2021 Ghost Gear Project.
I was so excited about it, and still am. It felt so awesome to give back to the fishery that raised me, and it felt even better to join in on a project that had little to no learning curve for me. Thanks to my background in lobstering, I got to join one grappling trip onboard the F/V Miss Lilly.
We left the dock at 7 am, on a beautiful sunny April morning. Soon, the grapple was overboard and we were waiting to pull up treasure. Circling around by Long Point, we pulled up trap after trap, pieces of robe, steel cable and tons of brittle stars. It was like discovering treasure each time.
It was extremely rewarding and I hope to join the project next season. Now onto the next marine debris project!