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Town Now Providing Safe Disposal Receptacles for Monofilament Fishing Line

December 2, 2015
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Ryan Mulholland, Sam Marksheid, and Rebecca Cheng | (516) 869-7794

Town Now Providing Safe Disposal Receptacles for Monofilament Fishing Line

North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, the Town Board and the Town’s Bay Constables have announced this week that new signage and designated receptacles have been placed around the Town Dock in Port Washington, reminding fishermen to protect fish and wildlife by discarding of non-biodegradable monofilament fishing line properly. According to the Audubon Society, monofilament fishing line is an amazingly strong substance that gets snagged on many things in the environment. Discarded line can snag and harm people and wildlife and kill fish, turtles, frogs, birds and small mammals.

“Each year our Bay Constables rescue sea birds and other marine life that have become entangled in discarded fishing line,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “When fishing line is left near the water, it is hard for animals to detect and can entangle all sorts of wildlife, leading to a slow and painful death. The signage along Town Dock, along with the handy receptacles will prevent discarded fishing line from harming our wildlife and our water.”

According to Chief Bay Constable Mal Nathan, he has observed birds wrapped in fishing line that became entangled on telephone and light poles, causing their death.

“This material can be dangerous when disposed of in a careless manner and can also be a tripping hazard to people on the dock,” Nathan said.

This program was implemented in conjunction with the Town’s Office of Sustainability. Chief Sustainability Officer Erin Reilley said, “It’s important to manage all of our waste responsibly, but we ask residents to take special care with litter that pose special threats to wildlife.”

"As the water quality in our bays and harbors has continued to improve, more wildlife has returned such as diamondback turtles that were once almost extinct,” said Eric Swenson, Executive Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee. “We cannot afford to lose any of these creatures simply because of improperly discarded fishing line. We therefore thank the Town of North Hempstead for its foresight in this project."

This is one of those times when a simple solution can cure a big problem" said Jennifer Wilson-Pines, Co-President of the North Shore Audubon Society. "Improperly discarded fishing line is a hazard not only in the marine environment, but can be fatally attractive to birds seeking nesting materials. I have had to climb into a tree to cut loose a bird that was hanging from monofilament wound around its leg."

Fishing line can become lodged in bushes or shrubbery, found along shorelines or fishing docks, and even tangled in trees where they ensnare wildlife such as turtles, birds, otters, and frogs.

If you have any questions please call 311 or 516-869-6311.

Chief Bay Constable Mal Nathan with Supervisor Bosworth at the new monofilament recycling bin at the North Hempstead Town Dock.


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