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Home > Interviews > Coastal Conservation Ideas

Coastal Conservation Ideas

Submitted by Alice Compton from Ocoee Florida on December 13, 2007

Questions and Answers

Question #1.
What if boaters that put their boats in at public docks were required to put a $20.00 depostit for their litter? The state/coounty would provide them them with a reusable conatiner that would hook on the side of the boat. When they returned the conatiner they would get $18.00 of their deposit back. The rest would go to clean the beaches.
Answer:
This is a great idea for limiting the amount of litter thrown into our waterways, and I like the fact that people who use the waterways--the boaters, in this case--are also directly paying to keep the beaches clean. The only thing I wonder about, though, is how we would pay for the people who have to hand out the containers, collect the money, dump the containers out, and so on. I'm sure that's a problem that could be solved, but we do need to think about it. Do you guys have any ideas? Drop me a note at webmaster@fieldtripearth.org if you can.

Question #2.
Could biodegrable fishing line be used? Would it be strong enough to catch the fish ,but if it stayed in the water 10 hours nonstop it would desinergrate?
Answer:
This is also a great idea! In fact, there's a place called "TreeHugger" (see their website here that sells biodegradable fishing line). It doesn't disintegrate as quickly as you suggest above, but it does disappear in about three months. Here's a question to consider, though--since sea turtles tend to get trapped more in "big" nets, like those used in commercial-level fishing, how could we convince that industry to use biodegradable nets? If we could do that, then a lot of nets that break free from boats and drift unattended through the sea would disintegrate and cause a lot less damage to turtle and other sea creatures.

Question #3.
What kind of sea turle is the hardest to save? Are the babies in more danger than the older ones?
Answer:
I would guess that the most endangered sea turtle is the Kemp's ridley, so in that sense it's going to be the hardest to save. And, yes, turtle hatchlings are definitely more in danger than young adult or adult sea turtles. The very fact that hatchlings start out on land makes them especially vulnerable (read some more on "Field Trip Earth" to learn about how much trouble turtle researchers go to in order to protect sea turtle nests). Once hatchlings make it to the sea, they are much safer--though they still have a long, hard road to travel until they are old enough to reproduce.


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