LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Mosley High School junior Wesley Tilghman started the non-profit ‘Conservation Brothers’ after seeing the impact fishing line and other monofilament materials were having on marine life. 

“There was a pelican who was entirely wrapped up in some fishing line, and we had to go save it and got the fishing line out,” Tilghman said. “And it was it survived. But a lot of animals don’t just because of how dangerous monofilament can be.”

An avid outdoorsman, Tilghman was bothered by the growing amount of trash in the environment.

“Two years ago when we went on a cross-country road trip and we visited a lot of national parks,”  Tilghman said. “And in every national park, we saw there was trash in all the waterways And on the way back, I got to thinking, I don’t want that to happen here.”

Tilghman drew upon a preexisting recycling program.

“We create what’s called monofilament collection bins, which is where we put these bins at high-traffic fishing locations,” Tilghman said.

Monofilament recycling bins provide an easily accessible place where fishermen can properly discard fishing lines or any other monofilament-based materials. The tube-shaped container then prevents the material from blowing into the oceans and in turn, harming marine life. 

The National Honor Society’s Scholastic Organization recently recognized Tilghman’s effort to protect wildlife.

“And we were selected out of thousands of applicants. We were selected from the top 15 to go and present our idea in Atlanta,” Tilghman said.

Tilghman plans to continue promoting ethical recreational fishing and conservation across the panhandle.