Kelley Blieka PicMy Grandparents started coming out to Montauk in the 60s. My grandfather loved to fish, and they both played golf at the Montauk Downs, and tennis at the Racquet club.   Though in the 70s they would build a beautiful house on East Lake Drive, my family had humble beginnings, living out of a tent in the trailer park by Ditch.  My grandparents eventually retired out here full time, and I have been coming out to Montauk since before I was born.  Every summer, as well as other random weekends throughout the year, has been spent here in Montauk.  When I was old enough to start working, I got my first jobs at White’s Drug Store and Pathfinder Country Day Camp. Though I may not have been “raised” in Montauk in the strictest sense of the word, I consider Montauk to be my true home.

Today, I am a junior at Northeastern University, where I am studying environmental studies with a minor in Political Science. Last summer, for the first time in my life, I decided to spend my summer months outside of Montauk – I took an internship in Manhattan.  I learned quickly that New York City is no Montauk, especially in the summer.  I missed the beaches.  I missed biking around Lake Montauk.  I missed my family and friends.  As I considered my options for this upcoming season, I knew I had to be back out here.

Despite the fact that my family has spent over 40 years out here, and I’ve spent the majority of my time out here, I had not heard of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk until a few months ago.  As I searched high and low for a way to spend my summer in Montauk, while still getting involved in environmental issues, my uncles mentioned CCOM as a possible option. This past spring, I spent some time learning about the Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the amazing conservation work that they have done here in Montauk.  After reading about the way that the CCOM has dedicated their work to preserving the integrity of Montauk for years, I knew what I wanted to do.  I contacted the CCOM about a possible internship position, and was lucky enough to receive a position with this organization.  As an intern this summer, I am excited to be working on the CCOM’s website and social media outlets to get more people involved in the conservation work that the Concerned Citizens do.