Originally published in The News-Press by Craig Handel on January 14, 2021

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.

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

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