Laguna teen engages a new generation of environmental stewards

Tess Both is a senior at Laguna Beach High. Courtesy of Laguna Greenbelt

Amid the chaos of this year’s pandemic, Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. has harnessed the energy of Laguna Beach High senior Tess Booth as a media intern.

Tess worked with Laguna Greenbelt this summer to create a social media plan for the organization’s Instagram account. She brought a new perspective to the social media strategy, including a fun and light-hearted approach to sharing information about local wildlife and wildlands, according to a press release.

“Born into a surfing family, I grew up at the beach,” Tess said in a prepared statement. “It wasn’t until my internship at Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. where I really began to understand the relationship between the land and the sea. Working on social media has connected me with my community and allowed me the platform to post important issues that relate to how we take care of our backyard.”

Engaging youth has been a renewed part of the non-profit’s strategy since 2015 to broaden its reach in educating the public about wildlife in Laguna Beach and Orange County, particularly the younger generation, people of color, and those who have traditionally been left out of the environmental movement.

Laguna Greenbelt has helped preserve open space in Orange County since 1968. Over the years, playing a central role in establishing the coastal wilderness system. The organization is also supporting the creation of the Irvine-Laguna Wildlife Corridor.

“We love having Tess join us in getting the word out about what our organization cares about – wilderness and wildlife,” Laguna Greenbelt president Norm Grossman said in a statement. “Many people along our coast are aware of environmental issues tied to our beaches and ocean, but there is a need to continue to educate the public, and especially young people, about the history and ecological importance of caring for our land-based ecosystems.”

Tess will receive a $500 honorarium for her summer work. She plans to continue her internship this school year as time permits.

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