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KLCB to host annual ‘Monofilament Madness’ cleanup



UPDATE: On Nov. 4, Keep Lee County Beautiful reported that it decided to cancel its “Monofilament Madness” marine cleanup for the safety of the volunteers due to Hurricane Eta. Southwest Florida is predicted to experience strong wind conditions over the weekend due to remnants from the storm. It thanked the volunteers who registered for the event and hopes that everyone continues to get involved.

Keep Lee County Beautiful will hold its 27th annual marine cleanup on Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to fight against marine debris. The cleanup is named “Monofilament Madness” for its focus on monofilament fishing line that has been discarded or left by fishermen, especially in mangrove areas.

Entanglement in and ingestion of fishing gear and other marine debris is a global problem that affects a large number of marine species. The endangered Florida manatee is no exception. Manatees are known to become entangled in various types of fishing gear and other marine debris. Fishing gear, primarily trap lines and monofilament fishing lines, is a factor in over 85 percent of the live manatee rescues.

Sea turtles and marine birds can also become entangled in fishing gear and other debris. Many are injured or killed each year as the result of drowning in nets and fishing lines, to ingestion of plastics, discarded line and other objects. Additionally, marine debris and lost fishing gear pose a threat to the coastal habitats of Florida’s bottlenose dolphins.

The 2020 Monofilament Madness is a water-based cleanup that requires a personal watercraft. Volunteers will go out to remove fishing line and other harmful debris from the mangrove areas of Lee County. The cleanup will take place at three locations: the Mound House on Fort Myers Beach, Salty Sam’s Marina on Fort Myers Beach, and Bunche Beach in Fort Myers. It will include a volunteer appreciation lunch, sponsored by the Galloway Family of Dealerships.

Keep Lee County Beautiful strives to have its Monofilament Madness cleanup bring a growing awareness and that people will be reached and their behavior modified to spare the wildlife from an agonizing death of entanglement in monofilament fishing line. Boaters and fishermen can make a difference by not letting any trash blow overboard and trying to retrieve any caught fishing line.

For more information or to register, visit http://klcb.org/monofilament-madness.html.