If every angler in America recycled two reels worth of fishing line, there would be enough recycled material to wrap around the earth over 350 times.
In 1990, the Berkley Conservation Institute took note of this fact and decided to act on it, creating a system that allowed anglers to conveniently recycle their old reel right at their marinas. In time, the Institute has collected nine million miles of line—or, enough to wrap around the planet over two thousand times! As a result, conservation director Jim Martin has been honored with the 2013 BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Award.
"The award recognizes those leaders in the boating community who have made a significant impact advancing clean boating and educating boaters about how they can minimize their environmental impacts," said BoatUS Foundation Vice President Susan Shingledecker. "Jim's long-term commitment to fishing line recycling has allowed the concept and the program to really take hold nationwide. Fishing line can be a tough material to recycle, so Berkley's devotion to this program is noteworthy."
Martin is involved with several environmental organizations. He holds positions as Chairman of the Policy Council of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and a science and policy advisor for the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association. Martin also took the lead on developing the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds.
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has been working to recycle used fishing line since 2008. In the past five years, they have helped install more than 2,000 bins on docks and around boat clubs for used line. The foundation is mainly funded by BoatUS members and places importance on safe, clean and responsible boating.