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Mats solve float-rope dilemma

Beginning in April 2009, Maine lobstermen were forced to abandon using float-rope to connect traps on the ocean floor because of the hazard they posed to Northern Right Whales and other marine life, which could get entangled in the rope. However,...

Down East Doormats
Maine Float-Rope found Penny Johnston is surrounded by some of her Down East Doormats, which are made from recently banned-from-use recycled float-rope. (Cindy McIntyre/Maine Float-Rope Company/MCT)

Beginning in April 2009, Maine lobstermen were forced to abandon using float-rope to connect traps on the ocean floor because of the hazard they posed to Northern Right Whales and other marine life, which could get entangled in the rope. However, replacing float-rope with sink-rope (the preferable substitute) is no cheap venture for lobstermen, and if not recycled properly, used float-rope could invade landfills all over Maine.

The new requirement looked like a lose-lose situation for everyone but the whales.

Enter Penny Johnston, founder of Maine Float-Rope Company, who decided to take the used rope and make something new out of it. Now this float-rope, once used to capture lobsters on the ocean floor, is appearing on doorsteps in the form of Down East Doormats.

By collecting turned-in float-rope purchased from Maine lobsterman, the Maine Float-Rope Company is helping ease the financial burden of switching to sink-rope, saving marine life, and keeping the float-rope out of landfills.

As for the doormats themselves, they are more than just colorful accent pieces. Because they are made from 100 percent recycled float-rope, which was built for the toughest of use in the ocean, these mats are "virtually indestructible." They trap debris _ anything from sand and dirt to mud and snow _ and are resistant to mold, mildew, saltwater and sun. Not to mention that cleaning them is as easy as hosing them down with water. In addition, a percent of the profits goes to organizations that help all three areas _ whales, lobstermen, and the environment _ allowing these colorful mats make a very green statement.

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Order the mats, which come in two sizes ($50 to $80), from www.mainefloatrope.com .

Related Topics: HOME AND GARDEN
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