Eagle Scout project will help protect turtles and pinpoint people in emergencies

  • Monday, March 31, 2014

Riley Robino is raising money for his Eagle Scout project to benefit Huntington Beach State Park.

Robino, the son of Mike Robino and Victoria Robino of Pawleys Island, will place 30 signs along the coast that tell beach-goers to protect the dunes and sea turtle nests.

“The signs will be numbered so anyone in trouble can give the sign location to 911,” he said.

He said sea turtles are endangered.

“Protecting the area where they nest is vitally important in saving them,” he said. “Last year 5,166 sea turtle nests were recorded along South Carolina beaches.”

“Sand dunes protect beaches from erosion during hurricanes, preserving the precious place where sea turtles lay their eggs,” he said. “That means protecting the sand dunes is our job.”

A Life Scout of Pawleys Island Troop 360, he is placing these signs on a three-mile stretch of coastline inside the state park.

“The signs will serve as mile markers warning beach-goers to stay off dunes; protect sea turtle nests, and help emergency crews pinpoint emergency locations on the beach.”

At this point in the project no physical work has been done.

“The help I’ve received has been mostly guidance,” he said. “Mark Mercer, a friend of his father and an Eagle Scout, is assisting me. He has given me direction and advice on how to keep track of things.”

“Chris Mermon is my friend and fellow Scout who is much further along in his project. He and his dad, Rich Mermon have given me guidance on how to handle specific areas of planning so far.”

Mike Walker, a marine biologist of the Huntington Beach State Park Education Center, has assisted him in this project.

“It is in the fundraising stage and should be completed by the end of this summer.” Robino said. “If all goes well, I would be eligible to receive the Eagle by Nov. 29 of this year on my 15th birthday.”

The challenges he has faced so far include getting legal permission to do the project; fundraising, and putting together a workbook needed for complying with Eagle Scout requirements.

He said three things are making a positive difference so far.

“These include working to protect something I love, animals; the thought of doing good for community, and the development of a friendship with park officers. Working with them was how the mileage marker idea came up,” Robino said. “I also talked to Midway Fire Rescue personnel about how these markers could provide a benefit.”

Robino said he needs $1,000 to fund his project. “Huntington Beach State Park serves 1 million-plus visitors every year and all will benefit,” he said. “Any additional funds collected will be donated to Huntington Beach.”

To assist, send donations to Riley Robino Eagle Project, PO Box 323, Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

Robino father has uploaded a video about the project onto YouTube. Search for “Sea Turtle Eagle Scout Project - Pawleys Island, SC.”

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