Monofilament fishing line recycling bins are popping up throughout the Upper Keys due to the efforts of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Upper Keys Rotary Club.

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is the Upper Keys facilitator for the FWC’s Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program. Through a $2,000 grant from the Upper Keys Rotary Foundation, materials were purchased to construct 40 PVC-pipe recycling bins and place them in fishing spots and marinas throughout the Upper Keys.

FWC’s program is throughout the state and relies on partnerships and volunteers. The program is “dedicated to reducing the environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line,” according to the program’s web site. Discarded monofilament fishing line negatively affects sea birds and sea turtles, as well as marine mammals, boaters and divers. 

Through a group effort of Rotarians, Bird Center staff and volunteers, including board chair, Frank Derfler, who is also a Rotarian, recycling bins were constructed and installed. The monofilament deposited in the existing bins typically fills two 55-gallon bags when emptied. 

“Keeping this material out of the environment protects our native wildlife,” said Bird Center Executive Director Jordan Budnik, who is also a Rotarian. “My staff wanted the chance to affect change. It approached my club’s board with a funding request and they eagerly agreed to support.”  

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Center was established in 1988 and opened its rehabilitation center in 1991 at MM 92 in Key Largo, Bayside. Visit the website at www.missionwildbird.com.

The Upper Keys Rotary, established in 1967, meets weekly at 12 noon at Capt. Craig’s Restaurant. For more information about Upper Keys Rotary, check us out

at KeysRotary.com, on Facebook or call President Joe Roth at 305-393-2660. 

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