Personal Fishing Line Container - Stow It, Don't Throw It!

What is the Problem with Fishing Line?

Image showing personal fishing line container and logos for Stow It Don't Throw It, Boating Clean and Green, and Whale Tail Programs of the California Coastal Commission

Used fishing line is often left behind on piers and beaches, or lost off of boats. Fishing line is not biodegradable and when left in the environment can cause real harm to animals, entangling and causing injury. Fishing line is a safety issue due to the risk of damaging boat propellers, and a serious problem around boat ramps and fishing areas. Learn more about The Problem with Marine Debris.

How can you and your school or youth group make a difference?

People of all ages can do something to help prevent this problem, whether they fish or not. Constructing and distributing simple, portable fishing line containers can help people keep hold of their monofilament fishing line until they get to a recycling collection site or a secure trash can. Constructing these containers is a great project for classrooms, environmental clubs, scout troops, and community groups of all kinds.

The Stow It, Don't Throw Project was conceived by then Florida high school student Sean Russell, who manages the program nationally. The California Coastal Commission and California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways are partnering to bring this program to California.

Listen to a PSA created by students from John Glenn Middle School in Palm Desert about fishing line and their Stow It Don't Throw It project!

Being part of the solution to this problem is easy. To join us in helping prevent harmful debris in our waterways:

  1. Fill out the following form.
  2. You will then receive more details including construction guidelines for the containers and additional related educational resources for your students regarding debris and its impacts.
  3. Each participating group will take on the task of collecting empty tennis ball cans and following simple instructions with materials we provide to assemble the fishing line containers. (It's not difficult to collect tennis ball cans for recycling - from your local tennis club, sporting goods store, or PE department. We can help with ideas if you need them.)
  4. You can then send us the completed containers so that we can get them in the hands of people who will use them, or you can distribute them yourselves at your local fishing pier, marina, boat launch ramp, or marine supply store.

Thank you for making a difference for our ocean and inland waterways!

YES, I want to participate!

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