News Stories

Hockey Team Turns Broken Hockey Sticks Into Water Filtering Machines

The team is trying to build twenty structures and is asking for $200 donations to mount each in an effort to raise $4,000 for Operation Hat-Trick.

Check out what’s in the water outside this Florida Gulf Coast University marine lab.

“This guy down here is just covered with mussels inside,” said Bob Wasno, the assistant hockey coach of Florida Gulf Coast University’s hockey team.

Mounted underneath the docks are structures that look like Lincoln-logs – but are really made, incredibly, from broken hockey sticks. The FGCU hockey team takes broken hockey sticks and repurposes them to go from the rink to a reef.

Under the water, oysters grow on the structures and filter water.

“And a stick like this, we’ll cut it down to 20 inches,” Wasno said, explaining the process.

“One of the things we have one of our issues with playing hockey a lot is broken sticks,” he said.

Bob says it’s tough to recycle the sticks above water because of the composite material they’re made from. But that underwater – they’re perfect for the structures. The team’s trying to build 20 of them.

“And we’re asking for $200 donations for us to be able to put these units underneath people’s docks,” Wasno said.

The money raised is donated to Operation Hat-Trick. That’s a group that helps veterans. And there’s the big underwater benefit. Bob says each unit can grow up to around 400 oysters.

“When you total it up, that’s 20,000 gallons of water that one of these units can filter beneath these docks,” said Wasno.