Capt. Jonathan Moss
Brevard County is home to some of our favorite waterways. Growing up, my weekends were spent fishing on the beach just south of the Cocoa Beach Pier, working the mangroves of Thousands Islands and the Sykes Creek area, or fishing the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon. I’m sure, if you have lived in Brevard County for any amount time, that you to have fished these areas. These beautiful estuaries mean so much to all of us, and that is why this month, I want to focus on what steps we can take to preserve it.
A few weeks ago, I was pulling up to the dock at Haulover Canal after finishing up a fishing charter, and I witnessed something that most would consider strange. To be honest, I was a little surprised at what I saw. At the ramp, was Mike and Debbie Dixon of Edgewater FL, each walking around with a bag picking up trash. It wasn’t their trash, but the trash of those who abuse our waterways. Yes, abuse. I was so thankful, impressed, and humbled. I walked over, introduced myself, and thanked them for their selfless service. We talked for a few minutes, and they shared with me that they make visits to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge 3 to 4 times a month to pick up trash. Beer cans, water bottles, fishing line, and cigarette butts are some of the items they pick up, cigarette butts being the most common.
It absolutely breaks my heart that others who explore and fish the refuge find it so easy to leave their trash wherever they want. That’s sad, disgusting and shameful. Debbie said that more often than not, they find trash within 50 feet of a trash can. I am so thankful for the Dixons. They truly have a servants’ hearts and are most definitely worthy of some recognition.
What can we do to help?
1) Carry out what you carry in- Pretty simple, yet quite effective. If we all collect and properly dispose of our own garbage, there will not be garbage scattered throughout our waterways. Either dump it in the nearest trash can or take it home and properly dispose of your trash.
2) Pick up the trash of others- If we only carry out what we brought it, then the trash from the past will not be collected. If we all go above and beyond like the Dixons, the Mosquito Lagoon and surrounding bodies of water will be cleaned of it’s trash in no time. Whether you spend five minutes walking around the parking lot with a trash bag or pick up floating debris like plastic bags or bottles while on the water, every little bit helps and makes a difference.
3) Participate in a clean-up day- There are countless Brevard County fishing, boating, surfing, kayak/SUP groups online. Join a group and participate in a clean-up event. Or…organize your own.
Many hands make light work, and if we all jump in and do a little, our waterways will be clean for generations to come!
Capt. Jonathan Moss
Go Castaway Fishing Charters