A Plug for Coastal Bend Bays Foundation

Everett Johnson

As longtime readers are aware, conservation of coastal resources is a significant theme here at GCC-Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Actually, it is probably better described as a pastime that pervades much of what we do. As such, I am always on the lookout for news and events. This has led to the discovery of some outstanding associations and organizations.

One such outfit is the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation. If you have never heard of them; I would like to make the introduction.

CBBF is a non-profit, Corpus Christi-based, public interest organization dedicated to the conservation of freshwater and coastal natural resources. Their approach is apolitical and the agenda is purely resource driven; and I like that. Their accomplishments are numerous and notable. Highly commendable is the creation of a forum that brings together diverse community interests to identify problems and seek solutions; their primary tools are outreach, communication and advocacy. I especially admire the effort they have invested into the Coastal Bend Land Trust to preserve and protect natural resources in perpetuity through land acquisition and conservation easements.

One of CBBF's highly commendable outreach efforts is their Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award Program.

David Sikes, outdoor columnist for the Corpus Christi-Caller Times newspaper and member of the nominating committee of the Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award Program, described it in print recently, "Most anglers know or are aware of someone who deserves praise for directly or indirectly promoting and protecting the coastal resources all anglers enjoy. These good stewards might include a teacher or other professional who has dedicated a career to conservancy, an outspoken angler/advocate, a behind-the-scenes volunteer, an organization or business with a strong position on conservation."

David describes candidates worthy of nomination as, "conservation heroes."

He goes further to state, "These folks don't do what they do to win awards. But to overlook them would be to dismiss an opportunity to harness their collective character and leadership. The point of recognition is not necessarily to further motivate the recipients with our praise. Thanking practitioners of good works goes beyond bestowing gratitude. Recognition helps to establish or bolster a positive social stigma that would inspire potential or future resource protectors to do similar good works. Conservationists should not be a secret society of responsible stewards. Publicly applauding praiseworthy advocates should nurture this culture that compels conservationists to do what they do. And as anglers we should not leave this to chance."

I would like to encourage readers to learn more about CBBF. You can visit their internet site at www.baysfoundation.org for a quick and informative look at who they are and what they do. While you are there you can also learn how to nominate your conservation hero for recognition in the Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award Program. There is an extensive range of categories that focus on individuals as well as community and business.

The nomination deadline is midnight October 11, 2007 so please do not delay, go to the site, have a good read, and then get busy. Don't let your conservation hero go unnoticed.