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Irma debris overshadows fishing line
November 8, 2017

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This year's Monofilament Madness cleanup brought in twice the amount of trash with half the volunteers of last year.

But that could be due to Hurricane Irma's damage in September. Approximately 50 volunteers with Keep Lee County Beautiful (KLCB) had a mission to cut and collect monofilament from the branches of mangroves on Saturday. Monofilament gets entangled in the mangrove branches and is detrimental to wildlife; it also takes around 600 years to decompose, according to data from MOTE Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. But most volunteers found more hefty items to haul in, including a mini-fridge, inflatable boat and a grill.

The debris also included a more notable find: one volunteer discovered a suitcase caught in the mangrove roots full of photos.

Fort Myers Beach is a small town - it didn't take long for one of the beach's Community Foundation members, who partnered with KLCB to host the event at the Mound House, to recognize some of the subjects in the photos. The Observer is reaching out to the family to get the memorabilia returned.

The volunteers spent the morning collecting approximately 2,984 pounds of trash.

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Regular Size Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer