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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
July 26, 2011
Volume 22 � Number 5


Salt on the Fly
by Anthony Alessi

As awareness intensifies concerning our changing environment, societal pressure to pursue a greener existence grows accordingly. Adorning 70% of the earth's surface, the ocean is a sacred medium used for transport, fishing and research. Its vastness allows us to easily forget how vulnerable to toxic pollutants it is. The ocean often covets these dangers well, keeping them out of sight and mind. However, there's nothing worse than seeing the damage we cause. That feeling of disgust, which is sometimes hypocritical, briefly washes over us while watching a plastic bag drift along with some plywood and other synthetic material. These moments are warning signs we cannot afford to ignore! It's great to enjoy nature through the art of angling, but it's important that we give back in order to fully appreciate those sun kissed days bobbing atop the waves.

As boaters and anglers, we have a social responsibility to sustain a safe aquatic environment for fishing and more importantly; to coexist with. The saltwater fly fishing community has been supportive of the conservationist cause and must continue to be so to reduce our carbon footprint (splash?). Simple adjustments such as buying EPA certified maintenance products and keeping a clean bilge to avoid oily discharges can effectively make a difference. Device installations can prevent fuel spills from tank vents and save gas. To conserve resources, recycling batteries is a helpful step to take and you may even earn store credit on your next battery purchase by doing so. Dry storage of your boat eliminates the need for anti-fouling paints and prevents heavy metal leakage from such paints. For those of you minimalist anglers who venture without a boat, you too can contribute by recycling your fishing line. If your harbor lacks a recycling spot, check out to find one.

Propane powered outboard motors are in the developing process to create a practical and eco-friendly alternative to diesel fuel. To know that people care enough to make fundamental changes such as that shows that some of us are taking serious strides in the right direction. Collectively, as the saltwater fishing community, we can do the same in preserving the marine world we cherish. The ocean still, in all its beauty and might, is not unaffected by the traces we leave behind. With our carefully crafted rods and self-tied flies, we understand the rewarding experience that is first hand interaction with nature. By doing what we can to become environmentally conscious we are reciprocating and recognizing how valuable our experiences on the water are.

Fellow marine adventurers: take action, whether it be in angling or just cruising; have something to show for your cooperation with nature. Like every other parent, I want to feel confident that my kids are safe from these unseen dangers when splashing port side in the deep blue. When those long days of fishing are over, we're left with salt caked sunburns and treasurable memories. To continue to make these memories for generations to come, we should remind ourselves that these waters are a blessing we shouldn't miss in counting.

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." -Native American proverb

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