Released By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) High School Fishing Program congratulates St. Cloud High School’s fishing team, the Reel Dawgs, as the Grand Prize winners of the Costa Kick Plastic Conservation Project Competition. The student angler participants completed 10 conservation projects, including waterway clean-ups, created their own campaign to reduce the use of single-use water bottles on their school campus, and collected used soft plastic baits to melt down and create new baits.
All student anglers participating in the FWC’s 2018-2019 High School Fishing Program were required to complete one conservation project in order to qualify for funding associated with the program. Costa Sunglasses offered a Grand Prize, Second Place Prize and Third Place Prize as incentives for student anglers to complete multiple conservation initiatives through its Kick Plastic sponsorship. The Costa Kick Plastic Conservation Project Competition awarded points per club participation in a number of conservation-minded activities aimed to reduce the impacts of plastic pollution.
“The Costa Kick Plastic Conservation Project Competition encouraged student anglers to increase their commitment to conservation by taking ownership of their projects and getting creative in their practice of exemplifying the conservation principles that the High School Fishing program curriculum teaches,” said Jon Fury, FWC’s director for the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “We couldn’t be more proud to partner with the like-minded folks at Costa to continue to encourage and support the next generation of conservationist anglers.”
St. Cloud High School won the Grand Prize package of Costa sunglasses, Costa backpacks, Kick Plastic stainless steel water bottles and a Costa hat for each fishing team member. Liberty High School won the Second Place Prize package containing Costa backpacks, Kick Plastic stainless steel water bottles and a Costa hat. Barron Collier High School won the Third Place Prize package containing Kick Plastic stainless steel water bottles and a Costa hat.
“We’re excited to partner with the FWC High School Fishing Program and empower youth to take an active role in conservation,” said T.J. McMeniman, vice president of marketing for Costa Sunglasses. “Seeing these high school anglers take steps to reduce single-use plastics and clean up our oceans and waterways is core to what Costa and the Kick Plastic initiative are all about.”
FWC’s High School Fishing program welcomed 15 new and 15 existing student angling clubs in Florida to the program in 2018, offering funding for clubs committed to complete the provided FWC curriculum, as well as pre- and post-tests, and at least one conservation project. Program mentors partnered with the clubs to provide support and hands-on training in knot-tying and fishing gear assembly, as well as assistance with the clubs’ local events to increase student anglers’ confidence in the sport of fishing.
Costa has been manufacturing handcrafted, high quality, performance sunglasses for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. Costa recognized the threat of single-use plastic, and as manufacturers and anglers, were in a unique position to do something about it. Costa committed to reducing single-use plastic in its packaging where possible, using more recycled materials and continuing to explore future reductions. Costa’s Kick Plastic initiative aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways, and to inspire change to help reduce it. For more information, visit CostaSunglasses.com.
Information about the 2019-2020 High School Fishing program will be announced in the summer of 2019. For more information about the High School Fishing program, email Amber Nabors at Amber.Nabors@MyFWC.com.