Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Many Ways to Save the Bay

By Gabriela Dinobile, Volunteer Intern

For Jackie and Marty Metzger, volunteering for Save The Bay is a commitment that helps our environment and satisfies their love for nature and the ocean.

After Jackie retired from a career as a clinical laboratory scientist and manager of a cancer center in 2014, she saw that Save The Bay was advertising for office volunteers. She already knew much about the organization; after all, she said, “I think everyone in Rhode Island knows about Save The Bay!” So she signed up and has been a welcome member of the office team ever since, visiting weekly to enter volunteer information into the database and manage seal monitoring data.

Jackie and Marty Metzger
Not long after she began helping, Jackie also became interested in the idea of volunteering outside the office, leading a shoreline cleanup. Her first was an International Coastal Cleanup at Bold Point in East Providence; she liked it so much that she’s become a regular Bold Point cleanup leader. Along the way, Jackie also recruited her husband, Marty, a retired prosthodontist, as a volunteer photographer for the cleanups. Marty’s beautiful photos can be found on Save The Bay’s Flickr page and have been published in the Rhode Island International Coastal Cleanup report.

In August, the two volunteered together at the Save The Bay Swim for the first time — Marty as a photographer and Jackie handing out water to swimmers at the finish line. The Swim is Save The Bay’s largest annual fundraising event, and both Jackie and Marty had only positive things to say about their experience. Marty enjoyed the chance to converse with the other photographers at the event, while Jackie appreciated the sense of pride the swimmers exuded at the finish line in Jamestown.

The Metzgers agree that Save The Bay has immensely improved both the environment and community in Rhode Island over the years. They marvel at how much the organization has grown, and how Rhode Islanders can both give and take from Save The Bay through volunteering and using its educational facilities.

“It’s really gratifying to see how much [Save The Bay] has accomplished, how the bay has gotten cleaner and how much more aware people are of Save The Bay and its work,” said Jackie. “We used to take our son on Save The Bay cruises to learn about the bay, and it was very helpful to utilize the educational aspects of the organization. We hope to bring our grandson when he comes to visit from Tennessee.”

The connections they’ve made with Save The Bay staff and volunteers are what keep Jackie and Marty volunteering. In fact, Marty had the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend and coworker through his volunteer work with Save The Bay. And the folks at Save The Bay think the Metzgers are making a wonderful contribution to the Save The Bay community. Many thanks to Jackie and Marty!