- Published on Sunday, 07 October 2012 23:00
- Written by Super User
Unusual outdoor recycling container at Carolina Beach State Park Marina is convenient for fishermen.
Carolina Beach State Park Marina has installed one indoor and two outdoor monofilament line recycling containers in hopes of capturing unwanted fishing line before it becomes litter. North Carolina Big Sweep provided the outdoor fishing line recycling containers, and the marina staff installed them on wooden posts near the fishing areas. The indoor container is located inside the marina. The marina at the 761-acre State park on Pleasure Island provides access “to some of North Carolina’s best fishing spots,” according to ncparks.gov. “Fishing is big here,” said Chris Helms, State Park superintendent.
The environment benefits when monofilament line is recycled, because monofilament line is non-biodegradable and lasts up to 600 years. It’s thin and usually clear, so animals have difficulty seeing it and can easily become entangled in it. A certified Clean Marina, Carolina Beach State Park Marina wants to keep fishing line out of the environment to protect birds and turtles. Helms, a 20-year veteran in State Parks, said he was stationed at Lake Waccamaw State Park when he saw a barred owl hanging upside down in a “mess” of fishing line. The good news back then was that they were able to rescue it in time, and the owl was later released alive. That is not always how it works out. Since 2000, Big Sweep volunteers reported only nine of the 32 animals entangled in fishing line could be released alive.
Funded by Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative and NOAA, the goal of this Big Sweep project is to reduce the harmful effects of monofilament line by providing a recycling container to each of the 15 Clean Marinas selected to participate in the project. In return for receiving a free recycling container, marina staff agree to regularly maintain the container as often as needed and to keep record of how much monofilament line is being recycled. The Clean Marina program and its companion, Clean Boating, are voluntary, non-regulatory programs coordinated by the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management. The Clean Marina program’s purpose is to give recognition to those marinas and boatyards that manage their facilities using Best Management Practices (BMP’s) and environmentally responsible efforts. N.C. Big Sweep, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was originally founded in 1987 as Beach Sweep, an initiative to remove unsightly and harmful litter from the state’s coastline. It expanded inland in 1989 and was renamed Big Sweep, becoming the nation’s first statewide waterway cleanup. Its mission expanded in 2002 from litter-free waters to a litter-free environment. During its 25-year history, almost 320,000 Big Sweep volunteers have retrieved over 10.7 million pounds of debris—which is the visual equivalent of more than 26,000 football fields five feet deep in debris.