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Way to Go! Knox School student helps nature center

Thomas Barry, a senior at The Knox School

Thomas Barry, a senior at The Knox School in St. James, spearheaded the installation of a wooden sunscreen structure over an outdoor touch tank at the Cedar Beach Nature Center in Mount Sinai. Credit: Patricia Barry

A Miller Place teen recently spearheaded a project to help protect marine life at a nature center.

Thomas Barry, a senior at the Knox School in St. James and a Boy Scout, installed a wooden sunscreen structure with help from his fellow troop members over an outdoor touch tank at the Cedar Beach Nature Center in Mount Sinai.

The structure provides shade for animals in the touch tank and prevents them from becoming sick from bacterial growth that can develop when they are exposed to too much sun and heat, Barry said. 

The effort served as his Eagle Scout Service Project. He is a member of Troop 204 in Miller Place.

"I've always been interested in nature, and I like marine biology a lot," Barry, 18, said. Of the finished structure, he said: "We were all very proud of it."

To raise funds for the project, Barry sold baked goods made by fellow troop members and their families outside a Stop & Shop. Leftover money was donated to the Ocean Conservancy.

Barry is also a captain of his school's crew team and a lifeguard for the Town of Brookhaven.

"His commitment to service over self is so admirable, and we are proud to call him a member of our Knox family," Knox's assistant head of school Virginia Riccardi said. 

— MICHAEL R. EBERT          

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