The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV students volunteer to protect MI environment

Courtesy / MC4T

Discarded monofilament fishing lines can have a detrimental effect on the environment. Monofilament fishing lines discarded in the water can cause extreme harm to marine life due to extreme difficulty being seen when submerged and marine life can easily become entangled.

As a state with a large number of lakes and fishing as a popular hobby, this is something Michigan Cares for Tourism (MC4T) believes that we need to be extra aware of. MC4T is a 100% nonprofit, 100% voluntary organization that serves to give back to Michigan’s cultural, natural and historical sites. 

About a year ago, MC4T began a project to create monofilament recycling tubes to be placed in the water at each of the over 1,100 different boat launch sites across the state. According to an MC4T press release, this is part of the National Boat Foundation’s initiative to put these receptacles in every state. 

Patty Janes, PH.D., a Grand Valley State University professor in Hospitality and Tourism Management and founder of MC4T, said these receptacles provide an easy opportunity for people to protect the water. 

“That was to help protect water, the environment that fisherpeople would take, or anybody, would take any monofilament that they had extra line after fishing, and instead of throwing in the water, these tubes would be readily available at these launches, so you could in turn just put the filament there,” Janes said. 

According to the press release, MC4T mobilized the final round of volunteers to finish constructing the receptacles on Sept. 29. These volunteers are made up of faculty, staff and students from GVSU’s College of Education and Community Innovation, one of MC4T’s partners for this project. MC4T also worked closely with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for this project.

Janes said the monofilament receptacles will be emptied frequently.

“I don’t know how often they all are checked, but the DNR is at their sites every day, so it depends on the season,” Janes said. 

This project was one of two that MC4T completed this year. The other initiative involved a trip to the Porcupine Mountains State Park to help complete service projects. Adam Prielipp, a graduate assistant for MC4T, says a group of about 160 volunteers took a bus up to the mountains for a two-day experience. 

“We did, I wanna say, like 16 different service projects. While we were there we split up into groups and the park rangers said that we got like four or five months of work done in just a couple of days so that was awesome,” Prielipp said. 

According to another MC4T press release, “There was a myriad of service projects that included, repainting park facilities, replacing old guard rails, reroofing park yurts and graveling nature trails.”

MC4T plans multiple events a year that directly give back to Michigan communities. Their website has resources to learn about more events, donate to the cause and volunteer to assist in projects.

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