CENTERVILLE – The very active plastic-free QAC organization is focused on a new issue that has become a very real problem in the waterways around Queen Anne’s County – discarded fishing line in the waters. These discarded fishing lines have become traps for all types of wildlife. Long lists of animals on land, and particularly in water, have been killed by getting caught in discarded fishing lines and boat propellers.
Plastic Free QAC and Parks and Recreation’s boat landing division have been working together since October 2020 to alert fishermen not to leave fishing line behind when fishing. Together, the two groups have placed and attached 15 plastic recycling tubes with signs at eight fishing and boat docks in the immediate vicinity, on which worn fishing lines can be placed. The fishing lines are collected and sent to Berkley Fishing in Spirit Lake, Iowa for recycling. Berkley was one of the first manufacturers of monofilaments (fishing line) for over 60 years. Since 1990, their fishing line recycling program has “kept over 9 million miles of fishing line out of landfills”.
It should be noted that it takes 600 years for the fishing line to decompose. The recycling tubes can also hold empty plastic fishing line spools.
This fishing line recycling movement in Queen Anne’s County is called Reel In and Recycle. Plastic-free QAC director Sara Shelley credits the county’s parks and Rec Director of Boat Landings for making this move possible. She also commends several local individuals who fully support this recycling movement within the county, including legendary charter boat captain Montro Wright of the Shirley III and his son, Captain Lamont Wright of Off Da Hook; with Dave Tolbert and his family at Island Tackle on Main Street in Chester in 1915; Shore Tackle and Custom Rods, 3100 Main Street, Grasonville, owner Capt.Bill O’Brien and his wife and O’Brien’s Tuna the Tide charter operator, Mark Glassco.
The official kick-off for Reel In and Recycle will be on Tuesday, June 22nd at 4:00 p.m. at Wells Cove Marina, 120 Channel Marker Way, Grasonville. There will be a short program of speakers and recognitions.
Look for the plastic-free QAC table at the Kent Island Farmer’s Market every Thursday. The group distributes free fabric shopping bags to anyone who is interested.