Thanks to a great effort and commitment from many volunteers and members from across the state of Texas, 2006 was another banner year for CCA Texas. Volunteers and members once again stepped up to the plate to continue a longstanding tradition of conservation in the great state of Texas. CCA Texas contributed $1,141,467 to important conservation projects throughout the year. These dollars were raised by 50 local chapters and thousands of volunteers and members across the state.
Perhaps the most significant contribution was the approval for funding of the $700,000 CCA Texas Marine Larvaculture research facility to be located on the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. One of the primary objectives of this facility will be the increased production of high-quality research on marine fish larvae that is essential to ensure healthy populations of fish for the future. "UTMSI has a proven track record and is a world leader in marine fisheries studies. This facility will be key in gaining a better understanding of the life-cycles of many recreational species," said CCA Vice President and Director of Conservation Pat Murray. "It stands to forward marine science research and hatchery science to levels we have only dreamed about."
CCA Texas also pledged $200,000 to the Texas shrimp license buyback program. "Reducing shrimp effort is one of the most important things we can do for the conservation of Texas' bays and estuaries," said Will Ohmstede, Chairman of CCA Texas. "This monetary commitment by CCA Texas will remove dozens of shrimping licenses from Texas bays."
CCA Texas also supported law enforcement with $52,779 granted to TPWD game wardens. "We (TPWD) are actively involved in the enforcement of red snapper regulations in the Gulf of Mexico, interdicting vessels that are moored or returning to Texas with red snapper," says Captain Rex Mayes, Region IV TPWD Game Warden. "It takes specialized equipment to catch people who are operating illegally. They often come in during the night and we often have addressed them in the open seas. CCA-funded radars, GPS units and night vision equipment really help us level the playing field."
In addition to the projects above, CCA dollars raised by CCA Texas members and volunteers have also helped fund the following projects in 2006:
- $20,000 granted on an annual basis for a student in graduate studies at Texas A&M, Texas A&M Galveston, University of Texas Marine Science Institute and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
- $20,000 in funding for a tripletail study to be completed by TPWD and UTMSI.
- $13,875 for equipment to be used by TPWD for flounder studies
- $5,760 funding for TPWD summer intern program
- $5,053 funding for informational brochures on proper handling and release methods for speckled trout when catching and releasing.
- $4,000 funding for TPWD saltwater fish identification booklets to be distributed for public use.
Thanks to all who helped make 2006 such a successful year for conservation. Let's work together to make 2007 even better for the conservation of our coastal resources. For more information about CCA Texas, be sure to visit www.ccatexas.org.