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Girl Scouts to the Rescue

They’re out to trap cast-off ­monofilament line

Noel Pockey and Ashley Whicher set up fishing line recycling tubes at five fishing spots around Calvert County, earning their Girl Scout Silver Award.

Girl Scouts Noel Pockey and Ashley Whicher are working to save the Bay from used fishing line.
    When anglers toss line torn from their reel, the unbreakable and almost invisible plastic monofilament a death warrant to critters. The line ensnares animals, birds and fish, trapping the life out of them. The entangled fishing line continues its havoc, putting swimmers and boat propellers at risk — until it finally degrades 500 years later.
    That’s why 17,000 recycling bins have been set up across the country. Those life-saving tubes also gave the teens the idea for their Girl Scout silver project. The Scouts researched and then constructed the bins based on pictures they found online and using PVC pipe they’d convinced local marine businesses to donate.
    They were so committed that one was not enough. The girls set up their recycling bins in five fishing spots around Calvert County: Hutchins Pond in Owings, Kings Landing Park in Huntingtown, Nan’s Cove in Broomes Island, Flag Ponds Nature Park in Lusby and Solomons Fishing Pier.
    Saving aquatic life from the perils of human waste is nothing new for Ashley and Noel: “My friend Noel and I are very interested in saving the environment. I dream of becoming a marine biologist one day,” Ashley says.
    Tangled bundles of line are mailed to Berkley Pure Fishing America in Berkeley, Iowa, because, Ashley explains, it “requires a special recycling process” that can only be done there. The line is made into cages for new underwater habitat.
    For their efforts, Noel and Ashley earned their Silver Award, the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette, ages 11 to 14, can earn.