CCA Texas Welcomes 2011

Coastal Conservation Association
CCA Texas Welcomes 2011
CCA Texas and its volunteers welcome the New Year with optimistic enthusiasm. CCA Texas volunteers and supporters stepped up in 2010 to make it a very successful year for the conservation of Texas's coastal resources. As the organization moves forward in 2011, it will continue to support the restoration and creation of Texas coastal habitat; take an active role in the fisheries management process for Texas; educate the general public on the importance of Texas's coastal resources and the need to conserve them for the benefit of the resource and the general public; support Texas Parks Wildlife Department (TPWD) research and law enforcement; support future marine biologists through the CCA Texas graduate scholarships and the TPWD internship program; and will be active participant in the 2011 legislative process in the state of Texas for coastal fisheries issues, including freshwater inflows.

The ability to carry out the CCA Texas mission and objectives is due to the success of local chapter banquets and unmatched dedication by CCA Texas volunteers and supporters. Volunteers and supporters took unprecedented steps in 2010 to ensure the success of CCA Texas and will once again rise to the occasion in 2011.

CCA Texas closed the 2010 year with the approval of five projects at the November Executive Board meeting. CCA Texas has long supported the TPWD Game Wardens and most recently paid for the construction of an outpost cabin at the southern end of Land Cut. At the November meeting, CCA Texas approved $5,100 funding to replace the flotation material on the TPWD Game Warden cabin in Baffin Bay. Included in the funding will be the replacement of necessary amenities to the cabin which have deteriorated beyond use over its thirteen year life. These outpost cabins provide the wardens with the ability to effectively enforce TPWD game laws in these remote areas for extended periods of time and are long-term cost-saving tools.

CCA Texas has a longstanding history supporting the TPWD summer internship program. CCA Texas has been involved in this program since the beginning and at the November meeting approved $45,500 in funding for seven internships in 2011. These internships will take place in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port O'Connor, Palacios, Dickinson and Port Arthur. This program provides valuable hands on training and experience and allows TPWD to get a first hand look at potential future employees.

"This internship has provided me with a greater knowledge, understanding, education, and field experience of the significance and invaluable importance of coastal fisheries. I appreciate the wonderful opportunity that CCA and TPWD has bestowed upon me this summer," commented 2010 intern Lindsey Staszak in a letter to TPWD and CCA Texas.

Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT) had a successful year in 2010 with the approval and completion of several habitat projects. In addition to welcoming proposals from different agencies, organizations and academia, HTFT has also reached out to these groups looking for projects to support and take part in. One such project is a black mangrove study in the Lower Laguna Madre being conducted by Dr. Rod Summy at The University of Texas Pan American. Black mangrove is recognized as shoreline stabilizer in the Lower Laguna Madre in addition to providing potentially critical habitat for fish and wildlife. CCA Texas has funded $5,000 for this initial study and it will be conducted to develop planting strategies on the eastern shores of spoil islands in the Lower Laguna Madre. Many of the existing islands have flourishing mangrove stands on the western edges of these islands, but prevailing winds do not allow the mangrove roots systems to take necessary hold on the eastern sides. The end result of this study will provide a necessary planting strategy that will provide a long term solution for the prevention and/or mitigation of the effects of shoreline erosion along these islands and in turn creating clearer water with less turbidity. CCA Texas looks forward to the results of this study and the potential long-term effects.

CCA Texas has taken an active and leadership role in the management of southern flounder. Beaumont area columnist Chester Moore, a long time advocate for the conservation of southern flounder in Texas, is the host of the Flounder Revolution website. This site promotes the conservation of southern flounder, donation of brood stock to TPWD hatcheries and the release of flounder for future enjoyment and growth. The Flounder Revolution Replica program awards a fiberglass replica to the fisherman that releases the largest flounder 20" or larger for each month between March and November. CCA Texas once again has approved $1,000 in funding to this program in an effort to further educate the angling public about the status and efforts to bring southern flounder back to historic levels.

CCA Texas looks forward to 2011. If you are out and about during the boat show season, please stop by our booths to re-new your membership or join for the first time. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for the 2011 STAR tournament at these events as well. See you there.