May 28, 2007

Tampa Bay Conservation League Director Alex Eckelberry speaks in support of the Brooker Creek Preserve

Alex Eckelberry speaks in support of the Brooker Creek Preserve. More here and here.

Protect Yellowstone from Snowmobiles

Protect Yellowstone from Snowmobiles  Hurry...the deadline is June 5th. Click here to send your comments now.

Urge Congress to help bring clean drinking water to the world's neediest children

Urge Congress to help bring clean drinking water to the world's neediest children
More than one billion people don't have access to safe drinking water, even though cost-effective solutions to the problem are available now. Urge Congress to include funding in upcoming appropriations bills to help ensure safe drinking water throughout the world.

Tell the Bush administration to halt its dangerous nuclear energy plan

The Department of Energy is accepting public comments on its dangerous Global Nuclear Energy Partnership proposal until June 4th. Send a message right away urging the agency to abandon this unsafe, uneconomical and environmentally unsound plan.

Take action here.

May 26, 2007

Help Stop Aerial Gunning in Alaska


Alaska Wolf Close Up

Take Action

Alaska's majestic gray wolves are in grave danger. Marksmen use low-flying planes to chase the wolves, run them to exhaustion and shoot them to death at point-blank range.

Save Great Cats and Rare Canids


Clouded Leopard (Photo: Nancy vandermey)

Take Action

Great cats and wild canines around the world need your help. Legislation in Congress would give much needed support to people around the world who are working to save clouded leopards, jaguars, wolves and other rare cats and canines in the wild.

Save Peruvian Jaguars



Take Action

The Peru Free Trade Agreement would sanction the destruction of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest -- home to jaguars and other endangered species. Tell your elected officials that free trade shouldn't mean illegal trade!

Turn up the Heat!


Polar Bear

Take Action

According to scientists, climate change could doom more than a million species to extinction by 2050. Please urge your Senators and Representative to support legislation to address global warming.

Oppose Harmful New Offshore Drilling

Officials in the Bush/Cheney Interior Department intend to allow harmful new drilling in more than 84 million acres off the coasts of Alaska, Virginia and Florida. These areas are teeming with wildlife, including imperiled whales, sea otters and sea turtles. New drilling could destroy these sensitive coastal ecosystems and the wildlife and tourist economies that depend on them.

Take Action red

Take Action to Reverse Global Warming

Scientists are telling us that a rise of more than two degrees Fahrenheit threatens to trigger the irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet, a 20-foot rise in sea levels, and the extinction of innumerable species. Congress must act this year to pass legislation that will cut our nation’s global warming pollution 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Tell Congress to pass tough global warming legislation now!

Take Action Now!

Tell the Bush Administration to Protect Gray Wolves

The gray wolf's extraordinary comeback from extinction in Greater Yellowstone is one of America's greatest environmental success stories. But a new Bush Administration proposal threatens to reverse this progress by paving the way for mass killing of wolves in the northern Rockies. Urge the Bush Administration not to strip Greater Yellowstone's wolves of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Take Action Now!

Beluga Whales

Help Save Alaska's Last Belugas

Only 300 beluga whales survive today in Alaska's Cook Inlet, their last refuge in U.S. waters. But if we act quickly, we can help save these magnificent creatures from extinction. The National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing that Cook Inlet belugas receive crucial protections under the Endangered Species Act. But its proposal is opposed by industry. Urge the agency to finalize this life-saving plan and give belugas a fighting chance.

Take Action Now!

May 25, 2007


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Lead in fishing rods and reels

If you've been shopping for a fishing pole or reel lately, you're almost certainly going to see a "Prop 65" warning. This is statement mandated by California's Prop 65 law, requiring a warning if someone may come into contact with certain cancer-causing materials.

This warning is only required on products sold in California. However, since most companies distribute nationally and don't know where their their products will ultimatley end up, it's usually put on all products going anywhere in the US. If you don't see the warning on a rod or reel, it still doesn't mean it's lead free. It could be only marketed in a geographic region outside of California.

Lead is considered cancer-causing, and hence, you'll see this warning on fishing rods and reels because they almost always use lead paint (that's how you get that shiny look).

Now, instead of a specific warning about lead, most manufacturers will attempt to hide this fact by using the generic "cancer" warning allowed under Prop 65. The warning often goes something like this:

WARNING: This product containts chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Scary message, but then most people just thing "oh heck, what doesn't cause cancer these days" and move on (I doubt most people would think that it's a lead warning). And if you do hunt around, you'll find something reassuring like this message from Shakespeare.

Interested in finding a lead-free alternative? Good luck. It's basically non-existent (if you find otherwise, please post a comment).

What is fairly astounding is that both Shakespeare and Zebco tried to sell "kids" fishing rod and reel combinations that had lead paint in them. There was a subsequent recall, and it appears that the children's new rod and reel combos are lead-free.

Now, there are really only two ways that I know of to get a lead-free fishing rod and reel: Buy the Zebco or Shakespeare children's fishing kits (these are the ones with colorful Batman and Robin, etc. -- real kiddie stuff); or buy the Jr. Fisherman Rod and Reel combination from Outdoor Adventure (only the 2007 models, not the earlier 2006 models). In fact, at this point, I would only recommend the Outdoor Adventure models as Zebco and Shakespeare both had the audacity to ship a "children's rod and reel" combination with lead in them (although they have apparently stopped doing this subsequent to the recall).

In order to be lead-free, also make sure to also use lead-free tackle (jigs, weights, etc.).

Good luck and good fishing.

UPDATE:   We've heard that MountainBaby has lead-free fishing poles.  Hope that helps.  If you

Tampa Bay Conservation League

Fishing lead-free

Over 7 tons of lead was dredged up in one area of Miami recently. Source? Lead fishing tackle.

It's not only an environmental problem. It's a health issue.

Going lead-free makes sense. And it's trivially easy, with no real added cost. The Minnesota Pollution Control agency has a good list of suppliers, here.

I'm still researching the subject, but have contacted a couple of manufacturers, First Mate Lures and Timmy Toms, who both assure me that they use only non-lead materials and lead-free paint.

I will also cover the problem of lead in fishing poles and rods in my next blog post.

Tampa Bay Conservation League