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a person swimming in the water

By Leah Moynihan

The most exciting time, out of many, with Sea Synergy was spent on the oyster project. I was eager to head out snorkelling every week in the Portmagee channel, and I loved the feeling of finding a species that I have never seen before. I have been coming to this area all of my life, so I am no stranger to coastal wildlife. It’s the Atlantic Ocean that inspired me to pursue my degree in ecology, but I see the marine environment in a whole new light now thanks to my internship at Sea Synergy. I found out that the more you discover, the less you know, which is amazing!

I am grateful for this new perspective. Thanks to my patient colleagues explaining the different species, as well as finding them for myself, my eyes were opened to the beauty that lives in our Irish waters. Between eyelash worms, thornback rays, sea squirts and sea slugs, I was blown away at how beautiful our coast is. This internship has allowed me to appreciate what is in front of me, which I think is the whole point of Sea Synergy.

I also loved being able to share my interests with others. The seashore safaris were my favourite because we got to show kids the creatures that inspired our imaginations growing up. I also loved the kayaking tours, where you get to enjoy the wildlife around you instead of only going for the paddle. I think it’s important for people to appreciate what’s around them, and I definitely saw the activities that we do influencing that. My time at Sea Synergy certainly influenced me to continue to pursue my career in the marine.