Sarasota Bay Watch coordinates removal of all sorts of stuff from under the water.
More than 90 volunteers on, in and alongside the water gathered at Ken Thompson Park on Saturday, June 8 to clean up New Pass.
Coordinated by Sarasota Bay Watch, with the help of the Sarasota Police, the group got an early start and wasted no time pulling out barnacle-encrusted rods and reels, bike tires, boating equipment and even a cell-phone wallet with a valid drivers license still inside.
Oh, and lots and lots of fishing gear: lost nets, tangles of fishing line, lures and more.
Ronda Ryan, who helped coordinate the effort, said a lot of the line and nets pulled by divers from the water will be disposed of through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fishing for Energy program, which keeps such materials out of landfills. Nearly 3 million pounds of derelict fishing gear has been disposed this way in the last decade.
Living sea creatures that came ashore tangled in the nets or fishing line were rescued and rapidly released back into the water.