ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Ready for a roadtrip? If you packed your bags – and tacklebox – and drove from Washington, D.C., to San Diego, Calif., you would travel nearly 2,700 miles.
That’s also the amount of fishing line that was recycled through the BoatUS Foundation’s Reel In and Recycle Program last year, which gives anglers an easy way to recycle fishing line at over a thousand locations across the country.
“This effort happens as a result of many individuals and organizations,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Environmental Programs Susan Shingledecker. “In the last two years we’ve built and distributed nearly 1,200 fishing line recycling bins to local groups around the country. These three-foot tall PVC storage tubes keep discarded fishing line out of our waterways and helps protect fish, birds and other wildlife from entanglement,” added Shingledecker.
The bins are installed on piers, docks and buildings at waters’ edge and maintained by fishing clubs, Scouting groups, marinas, and other local volunteers. The 2700 miles of line collected by these volunteers was sent to Berkley Conservation Institute, a division of Pure Fishing, for recycling where it was melted down and used to make other products.
Adding to this total, boating, sailing and fishing products retailer West Marine recycled line collected at their stores. “West Marine is a vital partner in this effort,” added Shingledecker. “When re-spooling line for customers, there’s a great opportunity to collect large volumes of line for recycling.” The company tracks their stores’ line collection through online tools and provides incentives to the volunteer groups to collect and recycle their old line. Each time one of the BoatUS Foundation’s 1,200 recycling bin sites reports a line shipment to Berkley, the group is entered to win a $100 West Marine Gift Card in a monthly drawing.
The BoatUS Foundation is building an additional 1,200 recycling bins this spring and is looking for new Reel In and Recycle bin locations. Those interested in receiving a free bin can visit www.BoatUS.com/foundation/monofilamentto sign-up on a waitlist. The Foundation also has a short video at this website that shows how to build your own line recycling bin.
The Reel In and Recycle Program is a public-private partnership with participation from federal, state and local governments, national and local non-profits as well as the private sector boating, fishing and marina community. Funding for this program comes from voluntary donations to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation and grants from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Brunswick Public Foundation.
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half-million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe for all. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation.