Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fishing For Energy

I found this trash to treasure story last week and I have to say that I am amazed by the creative endeavors of people around the world.

Marine debris is a huge problem. Animals get tangled up in debris and even eat it. It also gets into our drinking water, thus affecting all of us. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing every day and yet people continue to throw debris in the ocean. This issue is more serious than most people realize. But what can we do about? How can we get people to stop polluting our oceans?

Fishing for Energy launched in 2008 through a partnership of Covanta Energy Corporation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Schnitzer Steel Industries. The goal of the project is to provide a cost-free solution to fishermen to dispose of old or unusable fishing gear. By providing an outlet for this gear, the gear can do some good instead of ending up in the ocean or in landfills. How cool is that?

The project works closely with state and local agencies, community and fisherman groups, and local ports by installing bins at convenient and strategic locations for fishermen to deposit their gear. By providing the bins, the project elinimates any incentive to dump the gear illegally. But what happens to the gear?

Once the gear has been collected, it is transported to a Schnitzer Steel facility where metals are removed from crab pots and lobster traps, and nets and ropes are sheared for easier disposal. The gear is then sent to a Covanta waste-to-energy facility where the waste is converted to electricity. Each ton of fishing gear is able to generate enough electricity to power one home for 25 days. That is so awesome!

To date, the ports participating in the program on the east and west coasts have collected over 188 tons of gear. That's 377,326 pounds of gear! The program is now available on the Oregon coast and let's keep our fingers and paws crossed that the response from the fishing community will be positive. This win-win for the fishing industry is also a win-win for the environment. Proper disposal of trash is the not only the right thing to do, it is a must do. We are all in this together.


Oakley and Swisher said...

Great post. We love going to the beach and swimming in the ocean, (well as far in as our paws), we need to keep it clean and safe. There are really cool creatures in there that do so much for our environment.

Lots of Licks--
Oak and Swish

Pearl said...

This is such a cool program, Stubby!

It just blows my mind to think about littering, much less throwing my junk into the OCEAN!? That is so careless! I hope this program helps people become more aware of their actions. They are throwing their trash into someone's HOME!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

oh what a great post stubby!

we always learn so much from you!

m & e

Stubby said...

Hi Oakley & Swisher! That's so cool that you get to go the beach and swim in the ocean. Mom and Dad once took me to the lake and I only put on paw in and then ran away. I don't like getting wet and the lake reminded me of the bathtub.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Pearly Poo! It blows my mind too to think that people throw stuff into the ocean. Some people just don't care about anything and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is proof.

The ocean is home to many more creatures than will ever be discovered and they deserve clean homes just like we do. I hope this program does raise awareness and that fishermen everywhere get with the program.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Melissa & Emmitt! I'm so glad you learn so much from me. I learn lots from you guys too and Emmitt always inspires me to keep going. Looking good old buddy!

Stubby xoxo