A few summers ago, I had the opportunity to visit Shoals Marine Lab (SML) on Appledore Island and experience first-hand the positive impact that the SML living and learning environment was having on students: high school, college, students from across the country, and even adult learners. Those students were truly engaged in doing research, learning about our fragile seacoast environment, and practicing sustainability in every way, from food supply to energy use to waste management and more. I also learned about the research students were doing on animal and plant populations: birds, seals, fish, other sea creatures, and even seaweed. I realized that those students and the work they were doing is our collective future. Their research and findings are shared throughout the globe. I wanted to ensure that Shoals Marine Lab could provide students with the opportunities to live and learn and do things that will shape our environment for years to come.
I made an annual fund gift to SML and continue to do so. No gift is too small to make an impact. But I knew I could make a bigger gift to endow student programming and scholarships through a planned gift. I included SML in my estate plan, knowing that I can help keep Shoals Marine Lab viable for future generations. And while I am still young, it is never too early to think about the impact you can have long into the future. I urge all to take a visit, in person or on line and make a gift. You might even get to hold a baby gull…. I consider that a highlight of my summer!