Girl Scout Troop 148 Cleans Up Eyak Lake Beach

 In News

This spring, Cordova Girl Scout Troop 148 was working on their Outdoor Journey to qualify for their Bronze Awards. The Journey led them to the shores of Eyak Lake, near Cordova, where they learned about animal habitats and Leave No Trace practices. Local Cordovans know the lake well. It is close to town and a favorite recreation spot for paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, and campfires on the shore. Eyak Lake also provides cornerstone habitat for ten fish species, including Sockeye and Coho Salmon, and its outlet is one of the most popular sport fisheries in Prince William Sound.

Sometimes, human recreation and salmon habitat collide.

Girl Scout Troop 148 explored the edge of Eyak Lake and stopped at Sunset Beach, a popular gathering spot for campfires with friends when they noticed large piles of rusty nails left in the ashes of pallet campfires.

Sunset Beach is adjacent to an important spawning bed for Sockeye Salmon. This species prefers to spawn in gravel on the edge of lakes, close to where streams flow in, providing a constant source of cold, oxygenated water. This freshwater input helps clean the gravel and delivers oxygen for salmon eggs to absorb through their shells.

The Girl Scouts recognized that the rusty pile of nails, too close to the water, might degrade water quality and habitat. They took action. In an effort to minimize the impacts from lake-side visitors, this dedicated troop began working to improve the site for people and salmon. They secured a donation of a fire ring from Peterson’s Welding to help contain beach fires and are raising money to install an informational sign of their own design.


This Take-Action Project will help make a lasting, positive change in the community relevant to their Outdoor Journey: preventing nails from spreading all over the beach and into the water. Their Project will include public service announcement videos to be shared on social media to raise awareness about the problem and encourage people to keep pallet fires in particular to a specific area so the nails are less dispersed.

To earn their Bronze Award, the Girl Scouts are enlisting the help of community partners like CRWP, Eyak Corporation, U.S. Forest Service, and Peterson’s Welding to help build and install the fire pit and signs to designate a clear and specific place for fires on Sunset Beach keeping nails and other metal scraps contained to protect salmon habitat in Eyak Lake.