Almost 50 people pitched in to remove fishing line from the bridges and
mangroves on October 6, 2018. Sarasota Bay Watch worked in partnership
with Florida Audubon, Save Our Seabirds, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Friends of
the Pelicans, Flow Paddle Tours, Boy Scouts and The Broach School.
The objective of the event is to remove fishing line that can entangle
birds. Nobody likes to have their fishing line tangled up but it happens, so we
need to work together to clean up after ourselves. This day only one tangled
bird was found, a pelican, but it was too late to save her.
Carol Cassels and Mark Rachal came down from Florida Audubon in Tampa
to guide the event. The folks on their boat caught sight of a beautiful
peregrine falcon on the Ringling bridge.
Save Our Seabirds were available to help if we found some entangled but
alive birds. During every previous monofilament cleanup, SOS participated but
this time they were too busy taking care of sick birds from the red tide
bloom. Keep up the good work!
Groups spread out from Cortez in the north to as far south as the Jim
Neville Marine Preserve near Midnight Pass. Some bridges, like Ringling Bridge,
are so smooth there is no place for line to get tangled. Other bridges had
cables or brackets that allowed a lot more fishing line to get caught in specific
locations and create a threat to birds.
After the cleanup there was a friendly gathering with lunch thanks to the
Sarasota Sailing Squadron and Sarasota Bay Watch.
About 100 pounds of trash and recyclables were gathered. A few people
conducted a dive cleanup too.
If you love birds you might enjoy A History of Conservation: A Bird’s Eye
View that is on exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center from August 25,
2018 through February 10, 2019 at 801 Old Water Street in Tampa.
See you next year!