First FFP Newsletter!
We are excited about the many developments that have occurred with Fishing for Plastic in our first two months of operation and wanted to take this opportunity to let our supporters know what has been happening.
To download the full pdf version of the newsletter - click here.
Fishing for Plastic was formed to empower local fishermen to harvest plastic from their beaches as part of their catch, in exchange for compensation.
We are now a registered non-profit organization in Florida. We have applied for 501c3 non-profit status with the IRS and are confident that we will soon get approval. We are also in the process of becoming a non-profit society in British Columbia.
We visited the Bahamas for a week in early November to scout the location of our pilot project site. We decided upon Marsh Harbour in the Abacos as there are many Atlantic facing beaches affected by plastic that has washed up from as far away as the Mediterranean sea. This is not Bahamian garbage, it is our collective garbage. As with many island nations, plastic floats ashore and pollutes the otherwise pristine beaches, harming fish and wildlife, impacting tourism and eventually causing health hazards from consuming fish that eat the plastic.
We met with Friends of the Environment, an organization in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas that has been doing amazing work with education, environmental research and the protection and establishment of national parks for thirty years. They were enthusiastic about Fishing for Plastic coming to the Abacos.
As an organization concerned about their environment they agree plastic pollution has become a major issue. While Friends of the Environment does facilitate periodic beach clean-ups, their volunteers cannot even come close to alleviating the debris from all local beaches. They have enthusiastically agreed to partner with us and help kick off our pilot project with an event called the Fishing for Plastic Derby.
Where: Marsh Harbour, Abacos, Bahamas
When: May 2019
It will be based upon the structure of a fishing derby, but instead of catching fish, entrants will be collecting “catching” plastic from the beaches. There will be prizes for the biggest mountains of plastic collected and for the strangest items found. We are anticipating an exciting day of plastic collection, education, enrollment of the local fishermen and great food and entertainment. Come join us and see what a difference your action can make.
Shortly after returning from the Bahamas we were asked to present at the Nature Festival in Punta Gorda, Florida as this is our current home base.
We had the privilege of speaking to hundreds of like-minded people who were keen to volunteer and contribute to our plastic clean up initiatives. We especially enjoyed talking to children and youth who signed the pledge to remove plastic from their beaches. Many of them told us that this was something they already did when they visited the beach, which inspired us that the next generation not only cares, but is enthusiastically taking action!
None of our goals would be possible without a dedicated team of volunteers to help launch Fishing for Plastic. We have been humbled by the number of people who have dedicated their time to web development and social media, graphic design, videography, and fundraising. Thank you all!
Our first fundraising initiative has been the sale of Christmas cards featuring beautiful original artwork in a variety of winter scenes. They are currently being sold in British Columbia with plans to expand sales next year.
An evening of celebration and support for Fishing for Plastic has been organized by the fundraising team on Feb. 2, 2019 at The View on Lonsdale in North Vancouver, BC.
We are celebrating with an awesome band, called Radiation, and incredible food supplied by the award-winning Forage Catering team. There will be lots of items featured in our silent auction and also a 50-50 raffle.
Our team is dedicated to taking action on the plastic waste issue and we need your help. Our primary focus now is to raise enough money to make our pilot project in the Bahamas a resounding success. We aim to raise $25,000 by Feb. 2019 and $50,000 by May 2019. You can assist us by taking action in the following ways:
1) Go to our web site and DONATE
3) Purchase Christmas cards or Buy tickets to our Vancouver fundraiser on Feb. 2, 2019 or Join the Fishing for Plastic Derby in Marsh Harbour in May 2019.
4) Volunteer your time and talent!
Join our dynamic team of fundraisers, assist us in our recycling efforts or donate something to our silent auction. These are just a few of the many areas we would welcome your expertise!
Fishing for Plastic was formed by Bill Atherholt and Angela Burns. We are both sailors and have a deep-seated love of the ocean and our natural environment.
As a sailor, surfer, diver and professional captain, Bill was first inspired to do something about the plastic problem when he was sailing around the Caribbean and saw first hand the scourge of plastic covered beaches.
Angela became overwhelmed by the plastic she saw on countless shorelines as she sailed around the world with her family. She knew she had to be part of the solution when she docked her boat in Port Klang, Malaysia. Within minutes, garbage that was flowing down the river had engulfed her boat in a matted island of entangled flip flops, water bottles, plastic buckets, polyethylene line and a menagerie of other plastic waste. These experiences forged our passionate commitment to start cleaning up this mess!
While Bill still works as a professional captain and Angela as a surgical assistant, we have found the work we have been doing with Fishing for Plastic energizes and inspires us in a completely different way. We know that now is the time to take bold action. Organizations are forming around the world and coming together to fight for a world free from the devastating impact of plastic waste.
Together we can make a difference.