Recycling Fishing Line to Save Birds
August 1, 2018 – Parts of the waterfront in Fairfield and Bridgeport will soon be getting new recycling tubes for the safe disposal of the monofilament fishing line that can strangle or disable birds who get caught in it.
A team of volunteers is building and installing the tubes. Madeline Dennis Raleigh of Black Rock In The Know has been instrumental in planning the project, and the Ash Creek Conservation Association, which is raising money to fund the bin construction.
In addition to the Connecticut Audubon Society, other participants include the City of Bridgeport, the Town of Fairfield and the landowners or occupants of the land on which the bins are being placed.
Discarded fishing line left behind as litter or disposed of improperly can be dangerous to birds and other wildlife. The monofilament, which is not biodegradable and persists for years, often gets caught in branches and bushes, where it entangles birds’ legs, wings, necks and beaks, strangling them directly or causing them to starve to death by preventing them from hunting and foraging.
Student volunteers from the non-profit group Scholar Athletes Serving Others will construct 12 bins from PVC pipe, fittings and glue; place informative stickers on them; and install the bins and metal signs. The students will also post notices on local bulletin boards and leave flyers at marina shops.
The bins are either in place at the Black Rock Yacht Club and the South Benson Marina in Fairfield and will soon be in place at:
- Captain’s Cove, Bridgeport
- Fayerweather Yacht Club, Bridgeport
- Cedar Marina, Bridgeport
- Miamogue Yacht Club, Bridgeport
Other potential sites include
- Fairfield jetty or tip of open space area
- St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea, Bridgeport
- The Arthur Street fishing area in Bridgeport
- Seaside Park, Bridgeport
- Pleasure Beach fishing dock, Bridgeport
Connecticut Audubon also has a recycling tube at the Milford Point Coastal Center.
The sites will have a monitor – a volunteer or venue employee – who will periodically empty their bin. The used line will be picked up by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection for recycling.