JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fishing line, or monofilament, takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Because it is thin and often clear, birds and animals can’t see it. They become entangled in it or mistakenly ingest it, resulting in injury or death.
That’s just one of the reasons why St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have teamed up to take part in the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program.
“Almost all of the bins were donated by FWC. Between myself and volunteers from the GTM Research Reserve, we will all work together to empty the bins to cut down on monofilament trash that ends up in the water,” explained Kelly Ussia, park naturalist for SJC Parks and Recreation. “Now it’s even easier to keep our waterways tangle-free.”
Monofilament recycling bins can be found at the following locations throughout St. Johns County:
- Boating Club Road Boat Ramp: 615 Boating Club Road, St. Augustine
- Doug Crane Boat Ramp: 1039 Shore Dr., St. Augustine
- Exxon Beach Access: 2700 S. Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach
- Moultrie Creek Boat Ramp: 4805 Shore Dr., St. Augustine
- Palmo Road Boat Ramp: 8600 Palmo Fish Camp Road, St. Augustine
- Palm Valley Boat Ramp: 383 S. Roscoe Blvd., St. Augustine
- Porpoise Point Beach Access: Porpoise Point Dr., St. Augustine
- Riverdale Park Boat Ramp: 981 CR 13, Fruit Cove
- Shands Fishing Pier, 10000 Shands Pier Road, St. Johns
- St. Johns County Ocean Pier: 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine
- Trout Creek Park Boat Ramp: 6795 Collier Road, Orangedale
- Usina Boat Ramp: 603 Euclid Ave., St. Augustine
- Vaill Point Park Fishing Pier: 630 Vaill Point Road,, St. Augustine
- Vilano Beach Fishing Pier, 260 Vilano Road, St. Augustine
- Vilano Boat Ramp: 101 Vilano Causeway, St. Augustine
Capt Don Dingman, of Hook The Future, teaches in his kids fishing clinics that an old tennis ball container works great on the boat for holding discarded fishing line, "I have a place for everything on my boat, and that works perfectly as a place to put my line. At the end of the day it is always full of line and I can just empty it into the recycling stations at the boat ramp."
The Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (MRRP) is an innovative statewide project dedicated to reducing the environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line. MRRP aims to educate the public on the problems caused by monofilament line left in the environment, encourage recycling through a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations, and help citizens host volunteer monofilament line cleanup events. The program depends on state-wide partnerships as the key to its success.
- Long-term goal 1: Heighten awareness about the negative impacts that fishing line debris has on human welfare, marine life, and water quality.
- Long-term goal 2: Decrease the amount of fishing line entering and remaining in the natural environment.
- Long-term goal 3: Increase the amount of fishing line being recycled.
Strategies to reach these goals
- Market and advertise using educational media that are appropriately designed to reach targeted audiences.
- Facilitate active participation in project activities by providing opportunities for targeted audiences to recycle fishing line, volunteer to check or adopt bins, and participate in debris cleanup events.
- Objective 1: Increase the number of outdoor recycling bins throughout the state.
- Objective 2: Increase the number of tackle shops that are hosting Berkley line recycling receptacles.
- Objective 3: Increase the number of monofilament line cleanup events throughout the state.
- Objective 4: Increase attending education and outreach events specific to marine and wildlife conservation.
- Objective 5: Distribute educational materials that include flyers and brochures to share with targeted audiences at events and presentations.