Audubon Florida News

Press Release: Sarasota Bay’s Bird Nesting Islands Need Help

posted on September 24, 2012 in Coastal Conservation,Press Releases

For Immediate Release: September 24, 2012

Contact: Andy Mele, 914-204-0030 or Mark Rachal, 813-623-6826

Click here to download our fact sheet.

Annual fishing line cleanup to take place on September 29, 2012

Sarasota, FL – The Annual Fishing Line Cleanup Day, sponsored by Sarasota Bay Watch, Audubon Florida, and Save Our Seabirds will take place on Saturday, September 29th. Each year, thousands of feet of fishing line become entangled on Sarasota Bay’s bird nesting islands and shorelines and pose a fatal hazard to birds and other wildlife. This cleanup event reduces the threat of entanglement, while recycling the fishing line.

“Cleanups mobilize the people who love and use the bay the most to help us clear important nesting habitat of dangerous fishing line,” said Andy Mele, Executive Director, Sarasota Bay Watch.  “This event is a great way for folks to be good stewards of Sarasota Bay, and save a lot of iconic Florida birds in the process,” added Mark Rachal, Sanctuary Manager for Audubon Florida.

To register for the free event, visit the Sarasota Bay Watch website: www.sarasotabaywatch.org.  Boaters are encouraged to attend, kayaks are welcome, and there are routes for people traveling by car and on foot.

Volunteer registration is required for the September 29th event, which runs from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  All volunteers will meet at 8:30 AM at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway on City Island to go over the cleanup instructions and receive their equipment, data sheets and maps.  Additionally, Lee Fox of Save Our Seabirds will provide a demonstration using a live bird on how to free entangled birds volunteers may encounter during the cleanup, or where to transport injured birds for rehabilitation.

When the volunteers have completed the cleanup, they will return to Sarasota Sailing Squadron to weigh their retrieved fishing gear and turn in all equipment and data sheets.  Lunch will be provided, courtesy of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron and Sarasota Bay Watch.

Sarasota Bay Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to protecting and restoring Sarasota Bay’s ecosystem through community education and citizen participation.   To learn more about Sarasota Bay Watch, visit www.sarasotabaywatch.org.

Audubon Florida and the National Audubon Society are dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them.  Audubon’s national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation.  For more information, please visit www.audubon.org or fl.audubon.org, or call 813-623-6826.

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Photo opportunities: Media is welcome to join us for the monofilament cleanup.  Please contact Andy Mele at 914-204-0030 or email at andymele@mac.com to coordinate.

Click here to download our fact sheet.

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