Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Announcing the 2011 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit!

Around the world, our planet’s oceans and their inhabitants face many challenges. As human impacts continuously threaten the health of our marine ecosystems, both locally and globally, it is imperative that we involve youth in a campaign to solve these problems.

The “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project invites you to join us for our first Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on November 12th, 2011 at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL. This event, for middle and high school age youth, is designed to allow participants to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally. Participants will learn what other youth are already doing to help tackle some of these issues, and they will be given a chance to work with their peers to develop action plans for their own ocean conservation projects. Finally, after developing their action plans, participants will take part in workshops focused on topics which include working with the media, forming a non-profit organization, fundraising, using technology to further a cause, and ways to recruit project supporters. These workshops will be developed to give them the knowledge they need to successfully implement their newly planned projects. Many of these workshops will be taught by other student conservation leaders who will share their personal experiences and advice with the youth participants.

Registration forms for the event are due October 31st, 2011 and a $10 registration fee includes lunch and all program materials for participants!

For more details, registration forms, and sponsorship information visit: http://www.stowitdontthrowitproject.org/!








Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pennsylvania Youth Work to Protect Marine Wildlife

On July 12th, 90 youth participating in the Waverly Community House for “Wild Seas and Skies" Summer Camp in Waverly, Pennsylvania, were led by 11 year old conservationist, Willy Jones, in the assembly of personal-sized fishing line recycling bins to support our work to expand the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project, and the use of personal-sized fishing line recycling bins, to anglers and boaters across the country! Camp participants learned about whales, ocean conservation, and the importance of preventing marine debris. They were then able to join in our work to protect marine mammals from fishing line entanglement, by assembling personal-sized fishing line recycling bins. These bins will ultimately be distributed to Anglers and Boaters along the New Hampshire coast by the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation. A special thanks to the Blue Ocean Society, Willy and Pam Jones, the Waverly Community House, and Mote Marine Laboratory for their support of the expansion of the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project! Below is a picture of the recycling bins assembled by the camp participants, as well as an article about their work! Check back soon for more updates on these students, as well as other young people who are becoming involved in the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project across the nation!



Check out this great article, "Sharing A DREAM" published in The Abington Journal about the work of the Pennsylvania youth involved in this effort!

A message from Charles Wohlforth

As we continue our work to empower young people to join us in our efforts to protect wildlife from improperly disposed of fishing line and other forms of marine debirs, we're excited to share this new video message from Charles Wohlforth, author of "The Fate of Nature." Check it out, and please share it with your friends! You can also view the video on Facebook by liking our page at: www.facebook.com/stowitdontthrowit.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Campers at Cedar Point Environmental Center learn about the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project

On June 10th, summer camp participants at Cedar Point Environmental Center on Lemon Bay in Charlotte County Florida learned about the problems associated with marine debris and improperly disposed of fishing line from, "Stow It-Don't Throw It" project director, Sean Russell. Youth participants learned about various types of marine debris and plastic pollution, and then designed their own posters to help inform the public about the problems marine debris poses to marine ecosystems worldwide. As a camp craft, participants learned about the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" project and made their own personal-sized fishing line recycling bins to help protect marine wildlife from fishing line entanglement. Through the program students and their parents also learned about the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program and the impacts humans are having on their local community of bottlenose dolphins. A special thanks to the students and parents who participated in this program, and the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Program staff and volunteers for supporting our work! Below are a few pictures from the event - check back soon to see the marine debris prevention posters designed by the students involved!








Saturday, June 11, 2011

Destin Middle School Students take part in the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project

Working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Education, students at Destin Middle School took part in the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project by making and distributing 200 personal-sized fishing line recycling bins. These students are part of the DOEP's Learning in Florida's Environment (LIFE) program. LIFE is an initiative to establish a series of field-based, environmental-science, education programs around the state. It partners the Department of Environmental Protection's education office, with local school districts, and provides hands on opportunities to increase student achievement and teacher development in science related fields.

From April 20-22, over 100 middle school students, teachers, parents, Americorp Volunteers, and DOEP staff assembled the 200 recycling bins while learning about the importance of preventing marine debris and teaching others to recycle their used fishing line. These recycling bins were then distributed on April 30th at the annual Choctawhatchee Estuary Festival, which was held at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville, FL. Those involved reported that everyone who received the bins were enthusiastic about using them to help store their used fishing line and protect marine wildlife.

A special thanks to all of the youth and adults involved in this program who took part in The "Stow It-Don't Throw It Project. We would also like to thank the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for funding this initiative, and the staff at Destin Middle School for supporting our work! Click the link for more information about the Okaloosa County LIFE Program

Below are a few pictures of the youth and adults who participated in this effort:










Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy World Ocean Day!

Happy World Ocean Day! This year’s World Ocean Day theme: “Youth - Waves of Change” emphasizes the importance of empowering a new generation of ocean conservationists to help solve the threats currently facing marine ecosystems world wide.

In honor of this international day of ocean celebration and conservation I’m excited to announce the launch of a new web PSA campaign for The “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project! This campaign is designed to feature ocean conservationists and scientists in video messages to raise awareness about the importance of preventing marine debris, and encouraging viewers to participate in or support The “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project. The video we’re launching today features ocean artist and conservationist, Wyland! Check it out and share it with your friends!


video

You can also view the video on our Facebook page at: facebook.com/stowitdontthrowit.

In order to help spread our message of the importance of preventing marine debris, and empowering youth to take action to protect marine ecosystems, please take a minute to share this video, and a link to our website or Facebook page, with your family, friends, and co-workers. Thank you in advance for your help spreading this important message.

Please don’t forget that while today is set aside to celebrate our planet’s oceans, the work to protect marine ecosystems and inspire others to do the same happens 365 days a year. Today, I challenge you to renew your dedication to ocean conservation and continue your work to inspire youth to continue making “Waves of Change” for our planet’s oceans!

Sean Russell
Stow It-Don’t Throw It Project Coordinator
srussell92@comcast.net

The “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project is a youth-driven fishing line recycling and marine debris prevention project. The goal of this program is to empower you to protect marine wildlife from fishing line entanglement by making and distributing personal-sized fishing line recycling bins while educating the public on the importance of preventing marine debris. We also work to support young people who wish to start their own ocean conservation projects. For more information on this program, the groups involved, and the work we carry out, visit our website at: http://www.stowitdontthrowitproject.org/ or check us out on Facebook!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mote Marine Lab High School Interns learn about The "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project!

On May 11th, "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project coordinator, Sean Russell, spoke to participants in the high school intern program at Mote Marine Laboratory about the project and the importance of preventing wildlife entanglement by properly disposing of monofilament fishing line. Participants in the program also discussed the problems associated with marine debris, as well as the importance of engaging youth in ocean conservation projects. These participants also assembled more than 40 personal-sized fishing line recycling bins which will be sent to groups considering participation in the project. A special thanks to Mote Marine Laboratory and their staff for their constant support of the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project and its work to mobilize youth to prevent marine debris and marine wildlife entanglement!

Osceola County 4-H Members Assemble personal-sized fishing line recycling bins!

Between the months of March, April, and May, 22 4-H members and volunteers in Osceola County's Plan and Do 4-H Club assembled and distributed approximately 400 personal-sized fishing line recycling bins in an effort to prevent marine wildlife entanglement. The materials for these recycling bins were funded by the Florida 4-H Community Pride Program with support from the Osceola County UF/IFAS Extension program. The completed recycling bins were distributed at the St. Cloud Spring Fling on April 2nd and at Education in the Park on May 7th. Participants involved in the project reported that the anglers and boaters who received the recycling bins told the 4-H members involved how they would put them to good use and would also ultimately use the larger recycling bins from the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program to properly dispose of their used fishing line. A special thanks to all of the 4-H members and volunteers who worked on this effort! Below are a few pictures of the youth involved:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Polk County 4-H Members Assemble Recycling Bins!

Last month, members of the Polk County Sea Stars 4-H Club assembled 100 personal-sized fishing line recycling bins which they will distribute locally to anglers and boaters. During their involvement in this project over the past three years, the Sea Stars club has collectively assembled and distributed 500 fishing line recycling bins. A special thanks to the club and its members for their commitment to this project. Also, thanks to the Ridge Audubon Society who has provided financial and logistical support to the 4-H club members.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Donate $1 to Protect Marine Wildlife

This week, we are excited to launch our first online fundraising campaign! Through this effort you can help support youth as they work to protect marine wildlife and promote sustainable fishing practices through the “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” monofilament fishing line recycling program. Please consider making a $1 to the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project by visiting: http://www.stowitdontthrowitproject.org/pb/wp_3ac9900c/wp_3ac9900c.html and clicking the "Donate" button!

By donating $1 this week, you will help provide youth involved in the, “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project the resources they need to combat the problems of improperly disposed of fishing line or gear! The “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project is designed to empower youth to work in partnership with environmental organizations in an effort to combat the dangers of improperly disposed of monofilament fishing line by making and distributing personal-sized fishing line recycling bins to anglers and boaters across Florida, as well as by educating the public on sustainable fishing practices.

Your $1 donation will:
- Provide materials to assemble one personal-sized fishing line recycling bin.
- Fund youth-driven educational outreach campaigns promoting responsible fishing practices, explaining the problems of over fishing, and teaching community members how to make ocean friendly consumer choices.
- Help provide educational training sessions to teach young people how to launch their own service projects to help protect marine and aquatic environments.

Remember the words of Dr. Seuss – “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better. It’s not.”

Thank you in advance for your support and please help spread the word! For more information on the “Stow It-Don’t Throw It” Project, and to view project updates, visit our website at www.stowitdontthrowitproject.org or "like" our Facebook page! If you have any questions feel free to contact project coordinator Sean Russell at srussell92@comcast.net.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project partners with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

We're excited to announce that students at Destin Middle School involved in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's LIFE (Learning In Florida's Environment) Program will be taking part in the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" project by assembling and distributing 200 personal-sized fishing line recycling bins. The LIFE program "is an initiative to establish a series of field-based, environmental-science, education programs around the state. Each program represents a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and a local school district. The goal of each LIFE Program site is increased student achievement and teacher professional development in science." A special thanks to the FL-DOEP's Education Office for providing the funding and support for this effort. You can view a report from the Destin Middle School LIFE site, which mentions the students preparation work for the "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project by visiting the following link: http://gulfalliancediversity.org/files/GOMA_Okaloosa_semiannual_report_Mar_Sept_10.pdf

Check back soon for more updates on the work being carried out by these students!