Clean Water Champions: Marissa Naranjo and Robbie Anderson

Robbie Anderson and Marissa Naranjo, Clean Water Champion Interns

Robbie Anderson and Marissa Naranjo

By Lorri Epstein, Water Quality Director

Not all communities have equal access to information, but Marissa Naranjo and Robbie Anderson are working hard to change that. As Columbia Riverkeeper’s Clean Water Champion Interns, Robbie and Marissa are developing culturally appropriate materials on pollution and solutions. Our program combines mentorship and career development with environmental advocacy and community organizing. Robbie and Marissa are conducting outreach to underserved populations, testing water quality, and testifying for better policies at agency hearings.

About the Internship

Columbia Riverkeeper’s Clean Water Champion internship offers mentorship and career development opportunities in water science, environmental advocacy, and community organizing. It is designed for high school, college, masters students, or other individuals who want to learn about working for a non-profit environmental organization. Interns monitor water quality, help promote healthy river contact, and inform the public on threats to the Columbia River. Clean Water Champions will:

  • Learn how a non-profit organization works with tribal nations and organizations in the Pacific Northwest;
  • Conduct public outreach and education to promote a healthy and clean Columbia;
  • Become experts in E.coli monitoring techniques and methods;
  • Help monitor the river for harmful pharmaceuticals; and
  • Meet a network of volunteers and professionals working to protect the Columbia River.

Meet the Interns

Robbie Anderson is currently pursuing a degree in Community Development from Portland State University. Robbie’s interests include issues related to housing, displacement, food security, inclusive engagement, and civic leadership. He also serves as a mentor to houseless and runaway youth. His internship project focused on raising awareness and reducing exposure to toxic pollution and outreach to underserved populations.

Marissa Naranjo recently returned to Portland from New Mexico where she served as the youth representative with the All Pueblo Council of Governors. In this role, she fought oil and gas development of ancestral areas and actively engaged in Native American education, youth advocacy, and Indigenous environmental justice issues. She plans to pursue a degree in Natural Resources Energy and Law from Lewis and Clark Law School and hopes to specialize in tribal and environmental law.


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