At the Tavernier Science Center we use drop nets to sample fish in Florida Bay and southern Everglades. Transporting the nets in boats, trucks, and helicopters to bring them to mangrove swamps where they sit under harsh sun and drag against barnacles and rebar, it's no wonder we're constantly having to repair them. At this point, it seems that several of our nets are made up entirely of duct tape. This makes the sampling extremely delicate and only complicates our schedules when we have to spend a day away from our work to fix the rips.
With a generous donation from GORE-TEX, our net mending days might be over. The company was kind enough to send an entire roll of their rip-stop and waterproof material, asking only that we use it in the field and tell them how it works.
Once the material arrived, we took it to a local seamstress at Ship Shape and had it sewn into the new generation of drop nets. The difference in material was remarkable and felt like trading in our Gremlin for a Corvette.
The very next day we took it out on the Bay and it worked perfectly. I know it's a nerdy thing to get excited about, but knowing that I won't be fiddling with duct tape after hours is pretty comforting. Moreover, I love it when big companies like GORE-TEX take the time to support the little guys. Thank you so much!