- Written by MANDY OFFERLE
CKS SENIOR DEVISES WAY TO
GIVE BACK TO CEDAR KEY
January 7, 2015
Do you wonder about what Cedar Key School students do to give back to their community? Some go out in the community, listen to people, look about carefully, and devise systematic ways of bettering the environment and the community.
One such Cedar Key School senior is Emily Colson. Emily, who hopes to attend Santa Fe Community College in the fall to study the somewhat unlikely combination of art, business, and marketing, is a one-person dynamo who saw a need very specific to Cedar Key and designed a plan to fix it. Emily is currently dually enrolled in Cedar Key School and Santa Fe Community College; while in high school, she earns college credit by successfully completing advanced college-level courses.
The Project’s Title?
Reel Recycling: Turning Trash into Tackle Boxes!
The problem Emily saw that needed fixing was that the FWC initially-installed monofilament line disposal collection stations, PVC containers, around Cedar Key were not being regularly emptied. There were eight of these containers in town. Emily knew that if the containers were full, it may well cause fishermen to dispose of their monofilament line in other ways, many of them endangering the animals and befouling waterways.
Emily saw that regular maintenance of these eight containers would mean that less monofilament would be ingested by or cause to entangle wildlife. She set out to do just that. She studied the problem, considered the logistics, organized a log, and constructed a weekly schedule that she relentlessly adhered to for an entire year, December 2013 to December 2014. Then she tackled each PVC container; she disassembled, emptied (not a simple task with hooks, lures, bobbers, and other debris), cleaned, and reassembled each PVC container on the island.
The result of the labors is a further asset to the environment. After the gloved and careful separation of elements coming from the inside of the containers, plastic and metal e elements are reused if possible. The line is separated and mailed away; and in a partnership with Berkley Conservation Institute, is recycled into, of all things, tackle boxes, reports Colson.
CREATION OF EMILY’S OWN
Understanding the importance of the project and fishermen’s needs, Emily took her idea further yet. She designed and constructed a smaller, portable disposal container, and with the help of Marina Hardware’s deep discounts, bought the materials for a and manufactured by hand 25 of them, and gave them to boaters who loved the concept of having such an efficient, safe disposal method aboard their vessels. Colson presented her handcrafted containers at Cedar Key’s Coastal Clean Up this past year. Boaters had a selection: the containers were decorated, some camo, some pink, and other colors. Colson reported that the containers were gone to appreciative boaters within the first hour of her showing them.
THE FUTURE OF THE PROJECT?
Sophomore Ashlyn Allen has energetically accepted the project as her own now and will care for the containers until, at least, December 2015. This enthusiastic tenth grader who plans to study ultrasound science beginning at Santa Fe Community College has already constructed her own spreadsheet that will log her hours and tasks connected with the project. The gauntlet has been handed.
Cedar Key is indeed fortunate to have its own school filled with industrious,
thoughtful students who wish to give back to the community.