The T.E.R.A Plastic Mitigation Project
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The Plastic Mitigation Project is designed to encourage forest users and sportsmen in the Sumter National Forest to retrieve plastic litter, especially shell casings and waddings and turn them into TERA in exchange for some pretty cool incentives. After the sportsmen turn in the retrieved plastics and collect a reward for their good stewardship, TERA will create colorful displays with the plastics for the folks who back our project as well as for display during public appearances and events that TERA participates in.
TERA, the Tyger - Enoree River Alliance is a 501 (c) 3 non profit river advocacy group in the Enoree District of the Sumter National Forest. In the Enoree District there are five federal waterfowl areas, including one each on the Tyger and Enoree rivers. These areas are low lying river bottom fields that are planted each spring with grains, then flooded in the fall. These areas attract large numbers of wintering waterfowl, providing excellent habitat and winter feeding grounds for the migrating birds. These areas are funded through federal taxes on the purchase of hunting equipment. As a trade off to the sportsmen who fund these areas, there are eight to ten half day hunts allowed in these areas each year.
During these hunts there are often large numbers of plastic shell casings and shot waddings that enter the waterfowl area and eventually, our rivers. TERA has many sportsmen among our members and being aware of this, decided to do something to help curb the amount of plastics that enter our rivers. In each of the last three seasons we have conducted sweeps of our waterfowl areas collecting these plastics.
This year, our seasonal project is to offer our sportsmen incentives to collect the shell casings and waddings during their hunts. Most sportsmen already collect their shell casings, but waddings are a different matter, being fired out into the water. By offering some pretty cool rewards to the sportsmen for collecting the plastics we think we can collect a significant amount of litter that would otherwise enter our rivers. TERA will distribute flyers explaining the program to the sportsmen. The Enoree Waterfowl area already has an information board where we have been cleared by the USFS to distribute flyers for the program.
The Tyger River Waterfowl Area does not have an information board. Part of our project is to build an information board on the Tyger River Area like the one at the Enoree Area. This makes sure that our sportsmen get the information for the program and will serve the area for years to come.
TERA volunteers will be placed at each waterfowl entry / exit area during selected waterfowl hunts this season with the incentive items for the hunters. Each hunter that turns in all of his shell casings at the end of the hunt, gets his choice of one of our cool incentive items. If the hunter retrieves a predetermined number of shot cups / waddings as well, he gets a second incentive item for his efforts.
Once TERA has collected all the plastics that the sportsmen retrieve, we will turn them into folk art! I made a couple of these just to display at events and tons of people have tried to buy them. So, this season, I will make these plexiglass display cases with shell casings and waddings and offer them as rewards for backing our project. I will stain the wood for the reward level displays, miter the corners, as well as an inscription of what it's all about. These were just for demonstration, we'll dress up the next ones a little.
Some of the same incentives I am making and offering the sportsmen, I am also offering as rewards for backing the project. I succeeded with a paracord project on Kickstarter a few months back and since then, there are some new items that the Kickstarter community hasn't seen. Here are the other rewards for the project:
Additional 550 Paracord Rewards:
550 Paracord Color Selections:
In order, top to bottom: Black, dark blue, light blue, purple, neon green, kelly green, foliage green, desert tan, red, orange, hot pink, rose pink, yellow, white, burgundy, yellow / green neon camo, red white blue camo, black red camo, woodland camo, desert camo, ACU digital camo.
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