Call to Earth Cleanup
On November 10, 2021, the IGFA answered the #CalltoEarth by hosting a local beach cleanup and creative workshop to put together new Plastic Portraits and help raise awareness about the importance of clean habitats. CNN launched the Call to Earth Day as part of Call to Earth, a major network initiative launched by CNN in 2019 in partnership with Rolex and its Perpetual Planet initiative, shining a light on those committed to safeguarding our planet for future generations. This is a day of action dedicated to conservation, environmentalism, and sustainability, established on November 10, 2021, during the final week of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
To answer the call of making a difference and instilling positive change for the environment, the IGFA staff in Dania Beach, Florida, USA organized a local beach cleanup that focused on cleaning and collecting macro and micro pieces of hard plastic to be used for future IGFA Plastic Portraits, which are portraits of prominent game fish created using plastic debris. These Plastic Portraits not only highlight prominent fresh and saltwater game fish that reside in various aquatic habitats impacted by pollution and debris, but they highlight different common “pollution” culprits that can be reduced or replaced with a more sustainable product.
In total, 32 volunteers comprised of IGFA staff, families, and local students ranging from elementary school to college joined us for the IGFA Call to Earth Cleanup at the Dr. Von D. Mizell – Eula Johnson State Park located in Dania Beach, Florida, USA. In just a few hours, volunteers were able to collect 4,492 pieces of hard plastic, some as small as grains of sand! Other debris was cleaned and disposed of, but these hard plastic pieces will be further cleaned, organized by color, and utilized for the creation of future art pieces.
The IGFA Plastic Portraits project is part of a bigger initiative the IGFA is launching in 2022 to raise awareness within the recreational angling community, and beyond, that we need healthy habitats for healthy fisheries. Over the past several years, there has been an increased focus and global effort to understand how plastic debris is affecting different wildlife. Ingestion and entanglement are the direct and deadly effects of pollution on marine mammals, birds, sea turtles, and many fish species. The IGFA is launching this program in an effort to help raise awareness of these issues and encourage members of the recreational community to get involved.
As recreational anglers, we live for the water. Whether it be a trout stream, a pristine flat, a beautiful lake, a maze of mangroves, or the deep blue sea, we all use these habitats to feed our love of fishing. As recreational anglers, many of us already help keep these fishing spots cleaner than when we arrived and choose to recreate responsibly. If we can spread that ethic of environmental stewardship, our fisheries will have healthier habitats for generations to come.
To learn more about CNN’s Call to Earth Day and to view events that occurred around the world, be sure to visit “The Environmentalists of Tomorrow”.