Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow Continues to Build Partnerships

Coastal Conservation Association
Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow Continues to Build Partnerships

Coastal Conservation Association has announced plans for a $100,000 reef project off the Texas mid-coast, funded by CCA Texas, CCA National's Building Conservation Habitat Program, Shimano, and in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Artificial Reef Program. CCA Texas's habitat program, Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT), originally dedicated $35,000 to the new reefing site located off of the Texas coast in state waters between Matagorda and Sargent. With additional funds secured from CCA National's Habitat program, HTFT has more than doubled the commitment to this new reefing site.

"In dealing with Gulf reef fish issues, working on advocacy issues alone is not enough," said Robby Byers, executive director of CCA Texas. "Creating new, viable habitat is an equally important priority, and our membership is committed to putting significant structure in the water that will be a magnet for both fish and anglers. We are proud to be building a string of reefs along the coast, and proud to be working with corporate partners like Shell to improve marine habitat and angling opportunities."

"CCA does a first-rate job of initiating progressive efforts on behalf of people who fish in coastal regions," said Phil Morlock, Director, Environmental Affairs, Shimano American Corp. "Thanks to CCA and Shell, this Texas reef project will provide great fishing opportunities for generations of anglers to enjoy and we are pleased to be a partner in this conservation effort."

This reefing project will compliment the Vancouver reefing site project, which deployed in excess of 250 tons of material off the coast of Freeport and the Port Mansfield project, which will deploy over 4,000 concrete culverts in near-shore waters between late spring and summer of 2011. With this recent addition of dollars to the Matagorda reefing project, HTFT has committed $200,000 to near-shore reefing in Texas waters in the programs brief two year history. HTFT is committed to enhancing Texas's near-shore fisheries habitat through its partnership with TPWD and outside sources for the benefit of Texas's fisheries and recreational fishermen. In December 2010, the CCA National Building Conservation Habitat Program announced a $1.5 million contribution from Shell Oil Company, with the first $250,000 going towards the Independence Island Reef in Louisiana's Barataria Bay. The Building Conservation Habitat Program has contributed $60,000 to the Texas mid-coast reefing effort and is making plans for another reefing project in Alabama later this year.

"You have to go through a lot of hoops to get projects like these off the ground and into the water, but we are building real momentum with the habitat program. Tons of materials are going into the water, and the pace is picking up," said CCA National President Pat Murray. "When we get recreational anglers, private companies and state agencies all working together, we can accomplish great work."

Costal Del Mar commits to habitat restoration in Texas

Costa Del Mar has recently made a three year financial commitment to CCA Texas's Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT) habitat program. This increased level of support by Costa Del Mar further strengthens a long standing commitment to CCA Texas and both organizations commitment to conserving the coastal habitats and fisheries for present and future generations.

"CCA Texas has been a leader in the advocacy fight to conserve our coastal fisheries and habitat," commented CCA Texas Executive Director Robby Byers. "As CCA Texas moves forward with the efforts of HTFT, partnerships with private companies, state agencies and other like organizations will be an important part in conserving, restoring and creating critical habitat along the Texas coast. CCA Texas is excited to have Costa Del Mar on board and looks forward to a long term partnership."

HTFT needs your help

CCA Texas's HTFT program has had a successful first two years. As the program has evolved, one piece of the puzzle that has proven to be very important is partnerships. HTFT has worked closely with TPWD, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP), Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and others. As partners, each organization relies on one or another for different aspects of a project. HTFT's support is often through monetary contributions, coordination efforts, and helping secure other needs for projects.

Securing monetary needs for HTFT is an important role of CCA. This is where you, our CCA Texas member, can play an equally important role. CCA Texas is currently seeking public and private foundations whose mission statements support coastal habitat restoration and creation. If you are connected to a foundation that supports this mission, please contact Matt Warren or John Blaha at CCA Texas to discuss possible solicitations. Each member also has an opportunity to take part in this process through company community grant programs that allow employees to apply for grant dollars to be used within their communities. Community partnerships are the key to success in CCA Texas's goal of habitat restoration and creation.

State of Texas Angler's Rodeo set for May 28th to September 5th

The CCA Texas STAR tournament is set to kick off another great year. This year's early bird deadline will be extended until May 27th and every angler entered by that date will go into a special drawing for a new boat, motor and trailer. This year STAR is offering a special STAR Platinum membership for $125 and includes your CCA Texas membership, CCA Texas STAR entry and the limited edition signed and numbered print "STAR Reds" by David Drinkard. For more details about STAR be sure to visit the new STAR website at http://www.startournament.org/ .