Published: Oct 25, 2013 12:32 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 25, 2013 12:55 PM EDT

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. - Students from FGCU got out of the classroom and underwater Friday. They joined folks with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation for a clean-up under the Sanibel fishing pier.

It's the third year students have helped with a coastal clean-up as part of their civic engagement class. But this was the first time they've taken the effort underwater to remove fishing line, nets, hooks and other debris.

"Birds for one will ingest all of this material and it will block their intestinal track and they will starve to death. Sea turtles as well, they'll eat paper bags, they'll get tangled in everything and they'll drown," says Nathan Engler.

Students say they hope to expand this underwater clean-up to Captiva.