Anker & Pine Tree Environmental Excursion

Anker & Pine Tree Environmental Excursion

I just got back from a very eventful excursion sponsored by Anker Innovations LTD that took place in Tampa, Florida. Seven other lucky winners and I flew in from all over the country to meet a team from Anker and embark on a journey of education, discovery, and hands-on activities. The travel plans and trip details were all taken care of and went very smoothly. One by one, we all arrived at the hotel, and within a short time, we were chatting as if we had known each other forever.

On the first day, we went straight to the Lassing Park Living Shoreline Project, where we met the full team and had proper introductions between the eight contest winners, the Anker staff, and the Tampa Bay Watch, the charity Anker partnered with for this event. We learned about what it takes to create a living shoreline and its effect on the shore, the local community, and the area's wildlife. It was truly amazing to see the work of so many volunteers and the profound impact it has on the environment.

We then toured the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, which opened in 2020 and offers a multitude of educational materials and conducts many tours a day for the local community, school trips, and groups like ours. The Tampa Bay Watch staff were all very informative, professional, and clearly had a passion for their work. The tour of the center was followed by the eco-vessel tour out on the bay, where we saw dolphins, a wide array of birds, and marine life. They showed us how they monitor and take frequent reports of the local marine life.

The next day, we got to do some hands-on work in a microplastics lab and see just how much plastic ends up in our own backyards and some of the many ways we can all do our part to reduce these harmful contaminants. Next up was monofilament cleaning to properly recycle old fishing lines from the bay. And best of all was vertical oyster garden building. A single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, which, as a water filtration company, was amazing to see as a truly natural water filter. The TBW collects used oyster shells from surrounding restaurants, dries the shells, and then hangs them on ropes from piers and docks to attract new oysters to clean the bay water.

Overall, it was amazing to see a company like Anker really put in the time and effort to truly invest in projects that make a difference. I am looking forward to collaborating with Pine Tree Companies and Anker to further pursue more sustainable products, do our part to reduce plastic waste, and bring people together around these common goals.


Tim O'Brien

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