Friday morning, May 10, 2019, eighteen (18) St. Cloud High School student anglers were presented with gift packs from Costa including, backpacks, hats, bottles, and sunglasses for winning the statewide contest Costa Kick Plastic Conservation Project. These students are part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s High School Fishing Program.

The Reel Dawgs who are coached by Tommy Jurgens, Jason Parks, and Ana Carr were awarded points on conservation efforts they completed throughout the year. This is the first year that St. Cloud High School has competed in this contest scoring the highest with 1,100 points total. Some of the activities included a team viewing of the documentary “Junk Raft”, waterway clean-ups after tournaments, the development of a school-wide ink-cartridge recycling program, and the creation of a school-wide incentive for students to reduce single-use plastic bottles, and collected plastic baits to melt down and create new baits.

It is amazing to watch these kids not only develop ideas on how to be competitive in this project but also follow thru to see their ideas come to life. I could not be more proud of the work they did for the project.

– Tommy Jurgens, St. Cloud High School Angler Coach 

Kick Plastic was launched by Costa to help reduce the amount of plastic we use as a company and to mobilize a movement. Informing students that the equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute and we are the only ones who can change that. And that almost all the plastic ever produced is still around. These students enjoy fishing and for them to know that because of the use of plastics one in four fish tested has plastic in them it has encouraged them to get involved in the conservation of our planet.

“The Costa Kick Plastic Conservation Project Competition encouraged student anglers to increase their commitment to conservation by taking ownership of their projects and getting creative in their practice of exemplifying the conservation principles that the High School Fishing program curriculum teaches,” said Jon Fury, FWC’s director for the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “We couldn’t be more proud to partner with the like-minded folks at Costa to continue to encourage and support the next generation of conservationist anglers.

“We’re excited to partner with the FWC High School Fishing Program and empower youth to take an active role in conservation,” said T.J. McMeniman, vice president of marketing for Costa Sunglasses. “Seeing these high school anglers take steps to reduce single-use plastics and clean up our oceans and waterways is core to what Costa and the Kick Plastic initiative are all about.”

Costa has been manufacturing handcrafted, high quality, performance sunglasses for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. Costa recognized the threat of single-use plastic, and as manufacturers and anglers, were in a unique position to do something about it. Costa committed to reducing single-use plastic in its packaging where possible, using more recycled materials and continuing to explore future reductions. Costa’s Kick Plastic initiative aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways, and to inspire change to help reduce it. For more information, visit

“Costa Del Mar is a purpose driven company and when we launched Kick Plastic four years ago this is exactly what we invisioned, working with the high schools and FWC’s fishing program to help reduce the use of plastic. This has been an amazing project!”

-Allison Reis, Costa Del Mar Marketing Coordinator 

Congratulations to the following St. Cloud High School student anglers: Erica Armstrong, Natalie Chapman, Trinity Irwin, Lindsey Pinkerton, Daniella Rodriguez, Cole Arendas, Andrew Burkhardt, Romus Edenfield, Michael Guerra, Preston Lanclos, Jacob McRae, Nico Ocampo, Will Ozment, Don Smith,  and Ayden Woelk. Thank you for setting a great example and for making a positive difference in Osceola County and the world with your conservation efforts. The school-wide projects these students have implemented are inspiring and serve as a reminder that our actions really do have consequences… positive and negative. The equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute and we’re the only ones who can change that in order to protect and save our precious waterways.