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Reel In and Recycle

Reel In and Recycle
Reel In and Recycle

From BoatUS

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Walking to or from a fishing spot, most everyone has probably had somebody’s else’s discarded fishing line get tangled around a foot. Line has long been known to quickly trash an idyllic spot, and even harm wildlife.

To help eliminate and illuminate the problem, staffers of the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gave a little back to mother earth. Crews from the organizations teamed up to build 400 fishing line recycling bins in just under two hours.

The three foot-long cylindrical bins constructed of PVC drain pipe are mounted to fishing piers, at launch ramps or marina boat docks, and are part of the “Reel In and Recycle”national fishing line recycling program.

The bins are distributed to local groups around the country to help keep fishing line out of our waterways where it can be dangerous to wildlife. To view a time-lapse video of the bin-building event, go to

Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco brought a 10 member "recycling bin brigade" to BoatUS national headquarters in Alexandria, Va., for the event. White House Council on Environmental Quality staff and 20 BoatUS employees joined her.

"NOAA's mission touches the lives of every American and we are proud of our role in protecting life and property and conserving and protecting natural resources," Lubchenco said. "Earth Day is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on our connection to the natural world.

“Healthy oceans matter to all of us and we can all do our part to keep them vibrant. This project helps anglers take concrete steps to protect places in their own backyards," she added.

"As boaters we rely on NOAA for so many services," BoatUS Foundation Director of Environmental Programs Susan Shingledecker said. "From checking the National Weather Service forecasts before we leave the dock, to looking at the latest charts to ensure there's enough water under the keel, NOAA is a vital resource to America's boaters.

“Today, they helped us celebrate Earth Day in a hands-on way that will benefit boaters and our waterways for years to come."

The 400 bins are already en route to community groups, marinas and fishing clubs who had previously signed up to adopt one at This brings the total to nearly 2,000 bins around the country.

"It's our goal to make fishing line recycling as commonplace as recycling cans and bottles," Shingledecker said.

In 2010 alone, the program recycled over 2,700 miles of fishing line - enough to stretch from coast to coast.

The program is funded by a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and is matched by contributions from BoatUS members.

To learn more about the program, add your name to a waitlist for future bins, or learn how you can easily build your own fishing line recycling bin, go to

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