Girl Scout project tackles recycling fishing line at County boat ramps
In early 2020 Meagan Fawcett, then a 15-year-old sophomore at Lake Highland Preparatory School, approached Orange County Parks and Recreation with a detailed plan to replace or refurbish existing at multiple park locations for her Gold Award Girl Scout project.
Used fishing line left on the shoreline, on piers or docks, or in the water is harmful to fish, wildlife, people and boat motors. Fishing line or monofilament takes 600 years to disintegrate while in the water.
Replacing and refurbishing the containers was an issue personally near and dear to Meagan.
“I saw a monofilament recycling bin during a backstage tour of the hospital and research area at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and knew immediately it was what I wanted to do,” she explained. “It allowed me to combine my love of animals, fishing and the environment into one effort.”
For her work with Orange County, she replaced monofilament recycling bins at Barnett Park, Lake Down and Highway 50 boat ramps and emptied, cleaned and replaced instruction stickers on six bins – Ferncreek, Woodsmere, Randolph Street, R.D. Keene and Moss Park boat ramps and Cypress Grove Park’s fishing pier.
Used fishing line is collected and cleaned by Parks and Rec staff and sent to Berkley Recycling in Iowa, where it is recycled into plastic items, such as tackle boxes, toys and aquatic habitat enhancers.