Volusia County Environmental Management implements a successful recycling program that focuses on removing used monofilament fishing line from the environment. Discarded fishing line accounts for many tragic wildlife deaths due to entanglement. Birds face prolonged death from starvation by having the line wrapped around their beaks or necks. When their wings or legs become tangled, it hinders or removes their ability to fly, search for food, and avoid predators. Manatees, turtles, alligators, and other wildlife suffer from loss of limbs from line entanglement and even death from gangrenous infection, or ingestion of the line. Fishing line discarded in our waterways also fouls boat propellers and it is a serious litter problem, especially around boat ramps and fishing areas. Even when the line is disposed of in trash bins it still goes to the landfill which creates the same hazards for wildlife, unless it is cut into small pieces. One solution to the problem is to have recycling containers available to boaters and fishers to discard their used line.
Volusia County has placed monofilament recycling containers at many locations throughout the county. We are looking for individuals and groups who feel a connection to the environment and are willing to adopt a container and empty it on a regular basis. The success of this program depends on citizens and communities becoming involved and taking action. This is a fantastic service project for Scout groups and other civic organizations. It promotes community service, protection of wildlife, and a commitment to keeping Volusia County Beautiful! If you or your group would like to be part of this project, please call Volusia County Environmental Management at 386-736-5927 ext. 12839.
Please watch this video on "Manatees and Entanglement" to get a better understanding of how monfilament line affects these beautiful creatures.
Volusia County Environmental Management holds underwater clean-up events each summer along the north jetty at Ponce Inlet. While our volunteers are working hard to keep monofilament line from entering the waterways we have been making an effort to remove some of the line and debris that has already made its way into Volusia County waters.
This year’s clean-up efforts are currently underway. A team of divers, spotters, snorkelers, and captains consisting of Volusia County staff, are assembled to assist with each event. Scuba divers dive at slack tide and remove debris including: hooks, lures, sinkers, nets, anchors, rope, fishing poles, and thousands of feet of monofilament fishing line from this popular fishing spot. View more underwater clean up videos.
These events are important for area wildlife as hundreds of fish, birds, turtles, and marine mammals become entangled in monofilament fishing line and other marine debris every year. During the clean-up events divers are able to free animals that are severely entangled including crabs, fish and and other marine species.
In May 2018, the "Underwater Cleanup" video created by Gary Daniels for the Volusia Magazine, won a Bronze award in the national Telly Awards in the Nature/Wildlife category. Other winners included national shows such as Sea Rescue, Ocean Treks and Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown. We were the only local TV show to win! Click here to see the award-winning video.
The group hopes to collect more debris each year as the events grow larger. There is still an enormous amount of debris present in the waterway in need of removal.
Click here for the State of Florida Monofilament Recycling & Recovery Program