Ohio Sea Scouts win $30,000 in waterfront challenge

MIAMI, Fla. — In a ceremony Thursday attended by editors and writers from more than 50 marine magazines at the Miami International Boat Show, Bob Donat of Interlux Yacht Finishes presented the members of Sea Scout Ship 41 of Bay Village, Ohio, a check for $30,000 as the national winners of the Interlux Waterfront Challenge.

Led by Richard Gash, the sea scouts received the $30,000 grand prize for the work they did designing, testing, redesigning and then re-testing a series of imaginative flotsam scoops for cleaning debris from their local waterways. Their goal was to create a lightweight, inexpensive scoop with a minimum number of moving parts that could be handled easily by one person, whether on a boat or on land, according to a release from Interlux.

Aboard their flagship, Mariner, a 36-foot ketch, they carried out trials in Lake Erie at the Spitzer Lakeside Marina. The scouts learned about their local waters, environmental problems, the nature of design and manufacturing and doing something that benefits the entire community, Interlux said.

The Sea Scouts received plenty of support from local businesses. Brown Campbell donated aluminum, and Mansfield Structural Company, a local machine shop, provided the expertise allowing the scouts to design many prototypes and have them fabricated, according to Interlux. Returning frequently to the design boards, they emerged with a set of tools that met their original goals.

In addition, the Sea Scouts educated the community about crucial environmental issues at their booth in the Lake Erie Marine Trade Association show and through blogs and videos they uploaded to You Tube.

“I’m so proud of what these kids accomplished,” Gash said. “They learned about ecology, teamwork, manufacture, design and what a difference they can make personally in cleaning up Lake Erie. And, they had a ball. We all did. Anybody who wants to make their own version of our scoop can get in touch with me for design information by e-mail at mr.gash@gmail.com.”

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