CCA Texas enjoyed another very successful year in 2011. The continued efforts of local chapter volunteers and the many grassroots supporters and sponsors across the state continue to be the driving force behind the most successful marine conservation organization of its kind. 2011 provided several success stories for the organization in terms of net fundraising, membership increases, habitat restoration and creation, research, education and chapter development across the state.
CCA Texas's habitat program, Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT), continued to play a major role in the restoration and creation of habitat that will benefit Texas's coastal resources and recreational anglers across the state. Once again, these efforts are a direct result of local chapter efforts and a growing campaign to create partnerships with local communities, industry, academia, like organizations, governmental agencies and foundations with the same vision to restore and create critical habitat along the entire Texas coast. A summary of completed and ongoing habitat restoration projects that HTFT has participated in or contributed to during 2011 include:
Matagorda Nearshore Reefing Project - This will be the third nearshore reefing project that HTFT has participated in with TPWD. As of May 2011 all permits and sub surface leases are in hand and a late spring 2012 deployment is currently being planned for the first set of reefing materials to this site. CCA Texas currently has $115,000 committed to this project and is actively seeking more funds for the project to assist Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's (TPWD) Artificial Reefing Program.
Port Mansfield Nearshore Reefing Project - CCA Texas partnered with TPWD and Alamo Concrete products to deploy in excess of 4,000 concrete culverts to the Port Mansfield nearshore reefing site. CCA Texas contributed $50,000 to the project. This project was completed at the end of August by the contractor, Cajun Maritime, and according to local CCA members and board members it is already yielding nice catches of snapper.
JD Murphree WMA Shoreline Stabilization Project - CCA Texas partnered with Texas Ducks Unlimited by contributing $50,000 for matching funds. These funds in turn yielded in excess of $400,000 in matching funds that will be used with Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) dollars, bringing the total to approximately $1,000,000. These fund will be used to restore and protect over 3,000 acres of fresh and saltwater wetlands along ICW within the JD Murphree Wildlife Management area. Work should begin in the first quarter of 2012.
Bird Island Cove Marsh Restoration - This project will restore 52 acres of marsh in West Galveston Bay. CCA Texas has committed $50,000 to this project to be used as matching funds for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetland Grants Program. Work is expected to begin in 2012 for this restoration effort.
Goose Island Marsh Restoration Phase III - This is the final stage of an ongoing marsh restoration project that once completed will have restored 24 acres of lost marsh. The project continues to move forward, and HTFT has committed $25,000 to the project. The continued drought has currently placed the project on hold until sufficient rain and freshwater return for successful marsh grass plantings.
Dickinson Bayou Marsh Restoration - This project will restore 10 acres of marsh and the subsequent protection of over 40 acres of wetlands in the lower end of Dickinson Bayou. CCA Texas has committed $25,000 to this project to be used as matching funds for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetland Grants Program. Work is expected to begin in 2012 for this restoration effort.
Sabine Lake Deep Reef Expansion and Research - HTFT contributed $15,000 to a 10 acre reef expansion to the Sabine Lake Deep Reef that will also include research and monitoring component for creating baseline data to this unique reef system.
Aransas Pass Marine Debris Cleanup - HTFT partnered with Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP) and Texas General Land Office (TX GLO) to facilitate a marine debris cleanup in and along Airport Park in Aransas Pass. This project cleaned up residual debris from a larger cleanup project and involved the hand-picking a materials from the area. CCA Texas contributed $5,600 to the $11,200 project.CCA Texas's looks forward to another successful year in 2012 and will continue its work to ensure the health and abundance of Texas coastal resources. On behalf of the staff and leadership at CCA Texas we would like to thank all of our volunteers, members, supporters and sponsors for another year of success and many tight lines in 2012. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.