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Volunteers needed for KLCB Monofilament Madness event

October 17, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

By MEGHAN McCOY

news@breezenewspapers.com

Keep Lee County Beautiful will hold a water based event next month at three locations to help remove monofilament fishing line and other harmful debris from mangrove areas throughout the county.

Monofilament Madness began in 1993 by two local fishermen, Larry Davis and Dave Westra, after they had a discussion at Lehr's Economy Tackle about the problem of monofilament fishing line being discarded. The project was supported by Keep Lee County Beautiful when the fishermen were in need of funds to support the cause.

"Sam Galloway Ford, they have been the big supporter of the event since it started. They provide a volunteer appreciation lunch," Keep Lee County Beautiful Program Coordinator Mike Thomas said.

Monofilament Madness will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at The Mound House, 451 Connecticut St., Fish-Tale Marina, 7225 Estero Blvd. and Matlacha Community Park, 4577 Pine Island Road NW.

"We have done the Mound House every year. Last year we only left out of the Mound House because we knew we were going to find a lot of debris," Thomas said.

The event is geared towards volunteers who have such paddlecrafts and kayaks and canoes, as well as small boats.

"They are going into the bushes, mangroves, and they are cutting out any fishing line that is in there," Thomas said.

Quite often the paddlecrafters will find bigger items that they cannot get, such as big pieces of wood. In those cases, they flag down one of the volunteers using a boat and they collect the debris.

"We couldn't do this without the boaters help," Thomas explained.

Last year Monofilament Madness was held two months after Hurricane Irma swept through the area. The volunteers collected more than 3,000 pounds of storm debris in the water.

Thomas said they were collecting such items as Styrofoam, aluminum, tires and large pieces of wood.

"We didn't have a big enough Dumpster. We had to make a big pile in the parking lot. When they came to pick up, they had to come in with another Dumpster," Thomas said. "It was a very successful event because we got that much stuff out of the water."

The year prior, he said they gathered 600-700 pounds of debris from the water. He said monofilament line is a tiny amount of the weight collected.

Monofilament, and hooks on the end of the line, is the driving force behind the event, Thomas explained because if birds, turtles, or any wildlife, gets tangled in it, it is pretty much over for them.

"We are trying to get all that cut out," he said.

Those interested in volunteering for the event are encouraged to pre-register at www.klcb.org/monofilament-madness.html.

 
 

 

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