USCG Auxiliarists Restore Marine Recycling Sites Damaged by Superstorm Sandy

Monday, February 17, 2014

 Lemon Creek Pier, Staten Island -- A fishing line recycling bin installed by Division 14 Auxiliarists is ready to keep the waterways clean. Photo by Auxiliarist George Lurye.

Lemon Creek Pier, Staten Island — A fishing line recycling bin installed by Division 14 Auxiliarists is ready to keep the waterways clean. Photo by Auxiliarist George Lurye.

Staten Island, New York – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarists from Division 14, 1st Southern Region, have finished restoring a non-biodegradable fishing line recycling system after extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Article By Auxiliarist James Chin

The recycling system consists of specially designed three feet tall plastic storage bins mounted near fishing hotspots. Using these storage bins, anglers can recycle their used lines and nets instead of discarding them in the water. When Hurricane Sandy struck the shores of Staten Island, heavy winds and waves tore recycling bins off their mounted posts. “Most bins were swept away, sometimes with the fences they were attached to,” said Auxiliarist George Lurye, one of the recycling project managers. However, in December, after months of repair work, Division 14 members were able to fully restore the eight storage bin recycling system.

The line recycling project in Staten Island started in early 2011 with project leaders Auxiliarists Dan Pontecorvo and George Lurye. Through a partnership with the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS), they received the fishing line recycling bins without cost as part of BoatUS’ Reel in and Recycle Program. The Auxiliarists, in exchange, agreed that they would mount, monitor, and maintain the bins. Furthermore, they would have to mail out the discarded fishing lines and nets to the proper recycling facilities.

As Marine Safety and Environmental Protection personnel, Pontecorvo and Lurye had a keen desire to keep people and the environment safe. “Fishing is very big on Staten Island, and while boating we often noticed that these monofilament [plastic] lines were finding their way to our beaches, entangled on to our boat props and discarded in our waters,” said Pontecorvo. “George and I found it easy going to the local marinas, explaining the important of helping saving our waterways and wildlife by just having these high visible bins close to fishing areas and with no cost to them.”

Auxiliarist George Lurye stands next to a newly installed storage bin at Midland Beach.

Auxiliarist George Lurye stands next to a newly installed storage bin at Midland Beach.

Currently, the storage bins are located at Great Kills Park, Nichols Marina, Lemon Creek Pier, Midland Beach and Princess Bay Boatmen’s Association in Staten Island, New York. In addition, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has informed the Auxiliarists that they would like to have the recycling system installed in three additional locations. As of December 2013, Division 14 has successfully recycled fifty three pounds of non biodegradable monofilament fishing lines and hooks.

According to Pontecorvo, “We hope that in the future, more of these fishing bins will be fully utilized and recognized by all fishing folks, thus saving our waters, wildlife, and swimmers.” For Auxiliarists Pontecorvo and Lurye, that hope is likely to come true since even a Superstorm was not able to stop their efforts in supporting maritime and environmental safety.

 

 

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