Sarasota Bay Watch News

The Suncoast Reef Rovers of Venice Do It Again

The Rovers pulled hundreds of pounds of waste from all around the North Venice Jetty on Saturday morning July 23, 2016. Once again the SCRR has made a major improvement in the aquatic health of one of the premiere locations in our community.

This group of dedicated SCUBA divers discovered a large number of cast nets submerged around the jetty. With persistence they cut the nets and dragged the heavy cargo to the surface. The nets had become entangled with hooks and lures of great variety as well as sticks, plants and shellfish. The shore-side volunteers retrieved the waste and loaded it into bags and trash cans.

Thanks to the help of the Venice Police and County Sheriffs boat traffic was kept at a distance and all the divers were kept safe while they did their work. Fishermen graciously waited until 10:30 when the divers were back on land. Upon learning about the project, fishers and others got into the spirit and joined in by picking up bottles and debris from among the rocks along the jetty.

A great abundance of life was seen by the divers and they reported seeing schools of snook, big mangrove snappers, and goliath grouper during their dives. Egrets, pelicans and bait fish were abundant that morning to the enjoyment of all. No doubt the birds, fish and other aquatic life are benefited by the handiwork of the Rovers.

Sarasota Bay Watch eagerly supported the Suncoast Reef Rovers during this important cleanup event. Ronda, Steve, Ellie and others pitched in along the jetty posting dive flags and gathering the waste. SBW will measure the amount of waste and convey that information to NOAA and other agencies involved in the marine debris problem.