College Interns Learn First Hand How DEP Protects Florida’s Environment

June 24, 2014

The best way to learn how the Florida Department of Environmental Protection goes about protecting the state’s resources is to experience it firsthand. The department’s Southeast District’s annual summer-internship program provides college students interested in environmental careers with this opportunity. Nine students are joining the six-week program this year, which runs from June 24 to July 31.

The internship program aims to provide participants with an understanding of DEP’s programs, hands-on experience in sampling, inspections, permitting and enforcement and how environmental policy translates into action.

During the first five weeks of the program, interns will spend time in each program area — water facilities, environmental resources and compliance assistance — where they will gain an understanding of each section’s role within the district. The last week is “intern’s choice,” where the participants will select which program area they would like to receive more in-depth training.

The internship program allows students to experience real-world work situations and provides them with a knowledge base of environmental work, which can be applied to a future career. The program has proven to be a success as past interns have received job opportunities with the department.

“I want to thank everyone involved in making this program a success for the eighth year in a row,” said Jill Creech, director of DEP’s Southeast District. “I am looking forward to seeing what the interns will bring to the district this year.”

Though all spots have been filled for this summer’s internship program, those interested in applying for the Summer 2015 internship program should visit the district’s webpage for more information.

The Southeast District regulates industry in seven counties along the East Coast of Florida spanning from Miami-Dade County north to Indian River County. The district includes the majority of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects, and is bounded by the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve in the southern portion of the district and the Indian River Aquatic Preserve to the north. In addition, the Loxahatchee River Aquatic Preserve is located in the Southeast District, which is one of only two federally designated National Wild and Scenic Rivers in Florida.

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