BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Florida Gulf Coast University and Bay Water Boat Club partnered today with students from Bangor University in Wales for their first annual bay clean-up.
Students collected fishing lines, plastic, hooks, and other materials toxic to the manatee, dolphin, birds, and fish species living in the bay.
“If they get tangled in it, it can strangle them, it can hinder them from getting away so that they can eat, so they can fly, ” said Helen Noble, and FGCU community engagement specialist.
Bangor professor, Simon Creer notes the importance of learning and experiencing an ecosystem parallel to that of the United Kingdom.
“We work with them to help them understand the connection between the animals and plants and how they work together in the Floridian ecosystem, ” said Simon Creer.
University student, Jack Taylor says it is essential for everyone to get involved in protecting our environment.
“It might not affect you right now, but its going to affect your children the children after that… it’s going to affect someone. Why not just do a little bit now and make a little bit of a change?” said Jack Taylor.
“It is essential that we all do our part, ” said Noble.
With the help of more than 40 students, the university was able to collect buckets of waste toxic to our environment.
Students say they hope today’s efforts will make for a brighter future.
“It is our local waterways, this is what we call home, this is our backyard. If we can keep it clean it keeps everything in the ecosystem happy, ” said Brandon Jolindo.
Event coordinators say that after today's success they plan to continue this partnership hosting this event annually.