Last spring, 17-year-old Robbie Murdock of Scituate reached out to NSRWA for guidance with his Eagle Scout project. Passionate about protecting the environment, Robbie wanted to help improve water quality in his hometown. But what could he actually do to make a difference for the coastal ecosystem? And what would be a reasonable scope for his project, given the limitations of the global pandemic?
NSRWA Environmental Educator Brian Taylor had several suggestions. Ultimately Robbie decided to promote awareness of watershed mechanics by installing medallions at 35 storm drains. He hopes that these metal markers — inscribed with the text “No Dumping – Drains To Waterway” and the image of a lobster — will make people think twice before releasing pollutants along the roadways. You can find the medallions at numerous locations around Scituate Harbor and on Jericho Road, plus one at the Scituate Lighthouse.
“We got really excited when Robbie contacted us,” Taylor recalls. “We are always looking to engage youth, especially at this age, for projects like this.”
“Robbie truly ran the program,” Taylor continues. He took the initiative to schedule meetings with me and all relevant parties, obtained project approval through the town, made a plan including timeline and estimated costs, stayed focused, gathered resources, enlisted and safely managed a team, performed the construction, and successfully completed the project.”
NSRWA provided a fundraising platform on its website: it only took a few days for the goals to be met! And then, over the course of two days in October, Robbie and his fellow Troop 7 scouts installed the medallions.
Now 18, Robbie says, “I feel incredibly happy about completing my project. I hope… people will look down at the medallions and think twice about throwing away that cigarette butt or plastic bag because it does eventually lead into the ocean.”
A senior at Scituate High School, Robbie also enjoys fishing with his friends, camping with his scout troop, as well as skiing and boating. Regarding his contribution to the overall health of his community and its ecosystem, he takes the long view. “Some people say that we are killing the earth but that isn’t true. The earth will be here long after we are gone… (By harming the environment), we are hurting ourselves and all other creatures that walk on this planet. I want to try and stop this.”
Click here to watch Robbie’s 5-minute project recap. https://youtu.be/u2KYDT6OY6E