Audubon seeks volunteers to collect discarded fishing line in O’Hara, along North Shore |

Audubon seeks volunteers to collect discarded fishing line in O’Hara, along North Shore

Tawnya Panizzi
The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is seeking volunteers to help recycle fishing line collected in bins, like the ones shown here, to prevent it from harming birds.

With more than one million birds killed each year from debris like discarded fishing line, the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is seeking people to help combat those numbers.

The group, headquartered at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel, is looking for stewards to maintain fishing line recycling bins.

Specifically, volunteers are needed locally at the Deer Creek boat ramp in O’Hara, at 43rd Street/Allegheny River in Lawrenceville and at Carnegie Lake at Highland Park.

“Fishing line takes over 600 years to decompose,” Rachel Handel, Audubon spokeswoman, said.

Audubon installed bins at popular fishing spots throughout the region after common and protected bird species have been seen with line tangled around their beaks, wings and legs, she said.

When the line gets tangled on a bird, it can lead to starvation or immobilization.

Master birders from Audubon suggested fishing line “litter hot spots” that also include sections of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail near the Fort Duquesne Bridge and near Doerr Street on the city’s North Side.

Regionally, bins were placed at Crooked Creek Lake and Raccoon Creek State Park.

Volunteers pledge to empty the bins once a month and collect any fishing line that’s tossed around the ground.

Audubon provides the training.

Handel said the collected line is recycled by Berkley Conservation Institute, which uses it to create “fish-habs” that encourage plant growth near piers and docks and also attract fish.

To learn more, contact [email protected].

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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