Leo Brett, McLean, Virginia, Troop 1130
Thinking Inside the Box
When it came time for Leo Brett to pick an Eagle Scout project, the University of Montana freshman already had conservation in mind. “My dad and I had been noticing the declining number of wood ducks while fishing in the Potomac River area,” says Brett, who is also a deer and turkey hunter. He started scouting locations to hang wood duck boxes and gave presentations to educate other scouts so they could help. “Not a lot of people know about wood duck habitat. Most kids hear the word duck and think of a Looney Tunes character.” Brett and his fellow scouts built and hung 10 boxes last spring and will continue to maintain them throughout the year.
Michael Browne, Milton, Massachusetts, Troop 5
A year ago, angler and high school sophomore Michael Browne realized that his favorite hobby might be harmful to waterfowl. “I got to thinking about what happened to the lead weights we lose,” he says. He found studies that said birds sometimes swallow the lead and can be poisoned by it. So Browne worked with his troop and the Toxic Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts, to launch the Get the Lead Out of Fishing campaign, a program that exchanges people’s lead weights for environmentally friendly ones. To get more support, Browne presented his project to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Patrick Fuzer, Mount Laurel, New Jersey,
Recycling Christmas Trees
High school senior and surf fisherman Patrick Fuzer knew that he wanted his Eagle Scout project to be about habitat. So he contacted the local fisheries biologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, who informed him that nearby Penbryn Lake was in need of underwater structure to support its resident baitfish species. “Part of being a scout is being thrifty, and most people had just gotten rid of their Christmas trees,” he says. “My project was to put them to good use.” Fuzer and his fellow scouts placed 190 Christmas trees weighted with cinder blocks in the lake this past April.
-- Kimberly Hiss