Bling bags welcome visiting boaters to Southwest Florida

Bling bag project makes boaters aware of the unique navigational and ecological benefits…

Bling bags welcome visiting boaters to Southwest Florida
Bling bags welcome visiting boaters to Southwest Florida 1

Craig Handel
 |  Special to Fort Myers News-Press

When boat owners from across the country make a seasonal visit to Lee County docks, they’ll receive bling bags.

The idea comes from America’s Boating Club of Fort Myers, which has been around for 67 years. The organization teaches boating classes, does vessel safety checks and engages in community-service projects like this. 

It’s one of four squadrons in the county. The others are the Sanibel-Captiva Sail and Power Squadron; San Carlos Bay and Sail and Power Squadron; and 

Cape Coral Sail and Power Squadron. Cape’s organization is the largest power squadron with more than 500 members.

A total of 11 marinas around the county will pass out 135 bags. The plan is to give them to boaters who are making extended stays in the area.

Approximately 1,000 boaters make loops to come to this area. They come from the Mississippi River, St. Lawrence Seaway, Maritime Waterway, Intracoastal Waterway, Key West or Lake Okeechobee.

While some boaters regularly have made the trip over the years, many are making their maiden voyage.

The idea is not just to give boaters a few coupons and trinkets for their visit.

“We’re providing a service to boaters of education and boating safety information,” said Bob Moro, commander of the Fort Myers Power Squadron. “Some don’t know how to get around. This will let them know more about the waterways. Lee County is famous for skinny or shallow water. People need to be mindful.

“We’re also providing information about the marine economy and our fragile ecosystem.”

There are approximately 86 items from 19 different organizations in the bling bags, which include various boating safety sheets and brochures, Lee County Visitor’s Guide, maps, a face mask, pens, bracelets, floating key chains, tape measures, anchor pins and can koozies.

The Calusa Water Keepers, Save the Manatees organization and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are among the organizations involved in the project.

Club information

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