CAPE CORAL, Fla. - We all know southwest Florida is a premiere place to go fishing. Canals in Cape Coral are popular place to reel in a catch. Often times, fishing lines get snagged and they're left in trees or floating in waterways. This could be detrimental to wildlife.
Take a closer look around Cape canals and you'll find something that doesn't belong. Monofilament is very strong. It gets wrapped around wildlife. It can cause them to choke, starve, and die a slow, painful death. That's something residents want to stop.
"When my husband and I would go out boating, we were constantly picking stuff up, because we were horrified by what was in the water."
Cape Coral resident Lynda Mastronardo is determined to clean up the waterways. What angers her the most are images of helpless animals entangled in fishing lines. Many are suffering and left to die.
"Breaks my heart. That's not the world I want to leave for my son," she said.
Anglers often leave behind these monofilament lines, instead of recyling them. They are strong flexible plastic: thin, clear, and difficult for birds and animals to see.
"It can slice them like a knife, it leads to infections and things like that, they cant do what they normally do, they cant find food if they're caught up in this," said biologist Harry Phillips.
Mastronardo is coordinating "Monofilament Madness" an event on Sunday at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Dozens of people will comb canals and pick up lines and other debris left behind.
"If I see a turtle trying to cross the road, if I'm busy, I still have to pull over and help it along," said Cape Coral resident Gina Gonzalez.
It's an event in which she is happy to participate.
"To go for a walk and see you know, beautiful trees and birds, its nice and uplifting, and then to see a bunch of trash and animals in distress, that takes away from it," she said.
"Monifilament Madness" is taking place Sunday, at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, from 8:00am - 12:00pm. You are asked to register.
For more information call Lynda Mastronardo at 239.541.1735 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org