Blogs > Keeping Current > Meet Natasha De La Cruz, Riverkeeper’s Legislative Advocacy Intern

Meet Natasha De La Cruz, Riverkeeper’s Legislative Advocacy Intern


View more images on our Flickr site

Natasha De La CruzMy name is Natasha De La Cruz and I will work with Riverkeeper over the next few months as their Spring Legislative Advocacy Intern. I am a recent graduate from Florida State University where I studied Environmental Science along with minors in Biology and Geology.

Born and raised in South Florida, I have always had a fascination for the vast array of wildlife and fauna throughout the United States, especially along our coasts. This fascination with animals is one reason I was so interested in science and nature from such a young age. However, after learning about the dangers of climate change and its direct impact on coastal communities, I realized I wanted to learn how I can preserve both natural ecosystems and the people who rely on these ecosystems in their day-to-day lives. Because of this passion to protect coastal communities, I am a prospective law student who will pursue Environmental Law later this fall. 

As a future environmental attorney, I hope to bring justice to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities who have experienced environmental injustice. Growing up on the East Coast, I have witnessed the devastating impact of hurricanes, flooding, harmful algal blooms, increasing temperatures and the effects of coastal erosion. The climate crisis has continued to amplify and hurt coastal communities, disproportionately affecting those of color. Through my work with Riverkeeper, I strive to promote environmental legislation that will protect the Hudson River and the people who live beside it.

After graduating in May, I wanted to continue my environmental activism efforts despite the ongoing pandemic. In January 2020, I was working alongside David Cullen, a Sierra Club lobbyist during the Florida legislative session. I wrote reports of bills being discussed in the legislative session and researched bills mentioned in committee meetings based on previously passed and proposed legislation. I was thankful to have this experience learning about the legislative process with David before the COVID-19 pandemic put the state on lockdown. Since March 2020, I have been involved in an environmental nonprofit called Our Climate as a Fellow and now as a Field Advisor. While working with Our Climate, I have helped expand support for our team of fellows, reached out to legislatures to promote environmental legislation and organized virtual events focused on promoting environmental advocacy to youth leaders. 

Over this past fall, I worked with the NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries as a Constituent and Legislative Affairs Intern. In this position, I updated hundreds of Congressional bios, and edited rollout plans and documents for thousands of constituent and partner organizations across the country. With these experiences under my belt, I look forward to helping Riverkeeper and New York residents by advocating for effective environmental legislation focused on safeguarding public health and safeguarding the Hudson River’s water quality during the 2021 legislative session.