A Grand Rapids Eagle Scout is helping maintain the purity of popular fishing spots in Missaukee County with fishing line recycling bins.
“My grandfather has a house on Lake Sapphire, which I’ve been there several times,” said Grant Beck. “I am really interested in conservation science and so I thought that this might be a good project to help the habitat here.”
Beck started his Eagle Scout project at the beginning of the summer, and enlisted the help of the Missaukee Conservation District.
“Benzie Conservation District has one in their county,” said Conservation Technician Nicolas Theisen. “My supervisor . . . knows the supervisor there and he said it’s an awesome thing, so she’s been wanting to do it for a couple years now.”
Beck had to go through a lengthy process to complete his project.
“I had to fundraise money through a bottle drive to get enough money to buy all the materials,” said Beck. “I had a group of Scouts help me put them together, because you’re not allowed to do anything yourself except lead other people to do it.”
There are five bins located throughout Missaukee County including Lake Misaukee, Sapphire Lake, Goose Lake, Long Lake, and Crooked Lake.
“We want to promote responsible recreation to make it so that everybody can enjoy these waters and keep them pristine,” said Theisen. “We want to keep trash out of them keep fishing lines out of them. Just make it clean.”
Theisen will be collecting fishing lines every two weeks from each of the bins. The lines then go to the Berkley Conservation Institute in Iowa where the plastic will be melted down to make tackle boxes and spools for fishing lines.
“Fish would eat the line if it was thrown in the lakes which leads to birds that eat those fish,” said Beck. “They would be ingesting the lines so it overall helps the entire habitat.”