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Lead, Perceptions and Education


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Recently much has been written and spoken about the dangers of lead, educating people as to these dangers and personal responsibilities as anglers and stewards of our environment.

There is nothing new in this regard.

States have been issuing bills in an attempt to ban the use of lead by the fishing public for decades.

The question in return from those targeted by such legislation has always been.....

"Why?"

"Why us, and why now?"

 

Mike G posted an interesting article in this forum that includes a link that illustrates a cookie cutter piece of wording that is attributed to Defenders of Wildlife- a suggested model for any state interested in submitting a lead sinker ban or similar.

 

 

These two items in particular are the reason a bill of this kind will never make it through committee:

(B) A review of available literature and research indicates that lead sinkers and jigs pose a significant hazard to water birds that mistakenly ingest lead sinkers and jigs and experience lead poisoning;

( C) Lead is a toxic metal known to cause many health problems in water birds, increasing susceptibility to disease, predation, and infection. A single sinker can cause death within two weeks;

Illinois doesn't have a significant population of Loons (water birds), nor do most other states in the union.

So the question isn't about the dangers of lead to wildlife, but the dangers it poses to people.

Granted, some waterfowl will ingest lead in IL at some point in the coming year and die from it.

That is a fact.

Which brings us to education.

At a board meeting for Sgt, Tommy's Kids last week, I suggested that we use lead-free alternatives and barbless hooks for our Military Kids Fishing Days from here on out- as a showing of good faith that we are willing to walk the walk as responsible conservationists. The motion was agreed upon unanimously, as one might expect.

The question I pose to you is this:

If the alternatives were priced comparably, would you be willing to switch?

Are we willing to change as a culture, and individually take responsibility for the one piece of the solution that we are in charge of.....our own behavior?

Let's use the example of plastic as a pollutant in our environment.

Consider for a moment that most people will watch the following video, and likely continue to purchase beverages in plastic bottles....regardless of the profound nature of this educational piece.

Imagine now that the items being trawled from the ocean and washing up on shorelines across the entire world are tiny lead sinkers. Just for argument's sake.

Would you still be willing to pinch them onto your line, or that of your kids?

Go ahead, take the time to watch it and put all of this in perspective any way you like.

 

Full Screen version:

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/470

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Here's my solution to the plastic water bottle used while fishing, or whatever.

 

http://www.kleankanteen.com/products/klean-kanteen-27oz.html

 

I got the LOOP top and a carabiner to hook to my waders or pack. The rest of the family got their own 18oz bottles. We have a water filter pitcher in the fridge, so no more plastic bottles for us!

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