My husband and I pull up to the boat ramp at Ross Marler Park. Located on Okaloosa Island, between bustling Fort Walton Beach and Destin, the park provides a quiet oasis on the Choctawhatchee Bay for families to grill, relax, and swim. While the sandy shorelines looked inviting, the pull of the waves (and the fish underneath) called us to open water.
As we backed the boat down the ramp, I spotted a colorfully painted receptacle, standing close enough that fishermen and women could easily reach its open face. Across the Choctawhatchee Bay, fishing line recyclers just like this one help anglers reduce pollution and keep out waterways clean.
Installed by the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), a local nonprofit committed to improving swimmable, fishable waterways for future generations, the recyclers are located in Ross Marler and Veterans Park, along the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier and Destin Harbor, at the Bluewater Bay Marina and Nick’s Seafood Restaurant, as well as Cessna and Thomas Pilcher Parks in Walton County. Decorated by local artists Annette Taunton, Joan Vienot, and Lori Ceier, they feature native species and whimsical mermaids to draw attention to their important function.
Read the rest in the May/June 2019 issue of Hook and Trigger.