Pine View School, Mote Marine Laboratory And Freedom Boat Club Partner In Earth Day Conservation Initiative
April 21, 2015, Venice, FL – In honor of Earth Day, April 22, three community partners are working together in a fishing line recycling and recovery initiative originally designed by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, powered by seventh graders from the Pine View School’s Sustainability@PV program and PeaceJam Club in Osprey, and now featured on boats in Freedom Boat Club’s extensive Southwest Florida fishing fleet.
All three organizations are participating in the “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” initiative, a program originally conceived in 2008 by Mote Senior Biologist Kim Bassos-Hull and Mote high school intern Sean Russell, current project director of Stow It-Don’t Throw It.
The team developed personal-sized monofilament recycling bins to protect marine wildlife from dangerous and potentially deadly fishing line entanglement. Made from recycled tennis ball cans, the bins provide anglers a safe housing on their boat to stash used fishing line until proper disposal can be made. This initiative has continued to build momentum and has enjoyed national support from partnering student groups and conservation organizations throughout the country who have collectively produced and distributed more than 17,000 bins.
“A growing number of ocean animals have become entangled in marine debris and fishing gear during recent years, and entanglement can injure or kill protected species like marine mammals and sea turtles,” explained Bassos-Hull, who published a peer-reviewed research article on the topic last year in Marine Pollution Bulletin. “Part of the solution is education and prevention through efforts like Stow It Don’t Throw it. We are very happy to help continue this effort through our long-term association with the classes at Pine View School, and we were pleased to make materials available for this year’s seventh grade community service initiative.”
Pine View Civics Teacher Christine Braun added, “Pine View’s emphasis on social responsibility and the civics standards both relate to service learning. The Florida Education Standards requirements call on our seventh grade civics classes to participate in direct, local service to the community. Our students, in cooperation with high school mentors from the Pine View School PeaceJam Club, chose to support this effort and worked together in teams to produce 200 fishing line recycling bins as part of PeaceJam’s One Billion Acts of Peace (1baop.org<http://1baop.org/>) and the Stow It-Don’t Throw It initiative.”
Brainstorming the best method of distribution for the 200 bins was the responsibility of the Sustainability@PineView Core Team, a coalition founded in 2012 that includes middle school science teachers, parents and students, and directs the work of various school sustainability initiatives. The group, which has been nominated by the State of Florida for a prestigious national U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award that will be presented this June in Washington, D.C., chose to approach the national headquarters of Freedom Boat Club in Venice, Fla. about the possibility of featuring the recycling bins on the company’s fleet of fishing boats.
“We approached and partnered with Freedom Boat Club because we felt it was an ideal way to get the Stow It containers to the fishermen directly in our community who will use them,” said Pine View Student Sustainability Council President Katarina Jurczyk.
Freedom Boat Club President and CEO John Giglio added, “We were very impressed by the innovative product presented by local students and leaders from Pine View School and Mote Marine Laboratory, and we immediately understood the benefit of supporting this worthy conservation project among our boating and fishing community. We will proudly feature these bins on all of our fishing boats here in our corporate market, from Bradenton to Marco Island, Fla., as well as promoting the excellent work of the school in our newsletter and through our social media activities. We are very pleased to have been asked to partner with the Pine View School and Mote Marine Laboratory in their outstanding efforts to protect endangered marine wildlife.”
Freedom Boat Club is the largest and oldest boat club in the nation, with 10,000 members nationwide, 3,500 of whom are in the Southwest Florida market. While the company has 86 corporate and franchise-owned club locations in 19 states, the 14 from Bradenton to Marco Island will feature the Stow It-Don’t Throw It recycling bins.
Photo Caption/Group Shot:
Members of the Pine View School Student Sustainability Council (seated on boat) and Kim Bassos-Hull (standing on boat) of the Mote Marine Laboratory join members of Sarasota’s Freedom Boat Club (standing on dock) at Hidden Harbor Marine to proudly introduce the Stow It Don’t Throw It recycling bins.
Freedom Boat Club Corporate ▪ 990 Laguna Drive, Venice, FL 34285 ▪ www.freedomboatclub.com