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!

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

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!