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The KLCB Marine Cleanup is an annual event during which volunteers go out in boats, kayaks, canoes, jet skis and anything else that floats, to remove monofilament fishing line and other harmful debris from the mangrove areas of Lee County. The boaters begin working at safe light (dawn) and continue until around noon at which time they are treated to a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch by Sam Galloway Ford. Because of the focus on fishing line, the project committee has affectionately dubbed the cleanup “Monofilament Madness”. It is hoped that through educational awareness, the people who are causing the problem will be reached and their behavior modified so that, among other reasons, wildlife will be spared agonizing deaths from entanglement in monofilament fishing line.
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM (volunteer appreciation lunch is served at 12:00 PM)
Mound House - 451 Connecticut St, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
Salty Sam's Marina - 2500 Main St, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
Gulf Coast Kayak - 4120 Pine Island Rd NW, Matlacha, FL 33993
*This is a water based event that requires a personal watercraft. We will have a very limited amount of available kayaks, and space on boats, available for our volunteers that do not bring their own craft. These kayaks and boat spots will be given out on a first come first serve basis.
The project was conceived in 1993 in a small tackle shop in North Fort Myers (Lehr’s Economy Tackle) by two local fisherman (Larry Davis and Dave Westra), who discussed doing something about the deplorable problem of monofilament fishing line which had been discarded or left by careless fishermen especially in the mangrove areas. Davis and Westra were sure they could drum up volunteer support from local fishermen and boaters, but were in need of help in raising the funds necessary for such a project. The two came to KLCB seeking help with their cleanup idea and the Marine Cleanup project was born. KLCB is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization capable of coordinating such projects through community sponsor support. Sam Galloway agreed to provide a catered lunch to all volunteers who would come out on Marine Cleanup Day to clean up the mess. Other corporate leaders soon followed.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to eliminate the monofilament and trash problem, and the success of attaining that goal would be measured by the lack of the problem. Until then, we measure the cleanup’s success by the growing awareness and willingness of hundreds of volunteers to dedicate a Saturday to the cause.
Nothing could have prepared us for the first Marine Cleanup day (October 29, 1993) when volunteers began unloading mounds of trash and huge tangles of monofilament line onto the dock at Tarpon Point Marina. As boat after boat pulled up to the dock, it became clear that the citizens of Lee County were very serious about cleaning up their beautiful waterways.
Without a doubt, the #1 culprit is monofilament fishing line — miles of it. In fact, according to the Executive Director of KLCB, Trish Fancher, the previous “Monofilament Madness” cleanups have produced enough discarded fishing line to stretch from Fort Myers to Tallahassee and back.
A Very Special Thank You To All Of Our 2018 Sponsors!