Latest reefing effort brings partners together to create near-shore reef fish habitat
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, Shell, Shimano and Frabill, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Artificial Reef Program. This latest step in CCA’s reefing program will bring valuable reef fish habitat and angling opportunities in the heart of the Texas coast at a time when it is needed most.
“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 Shimano and 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.”
CCA’s habitat efforts combine both state chapter and national components of the organization. Last August, CCA Texas funded $50,000 for the expansion of the Vancouver Reef off Freeport, and has earmarked another $50,000 for a Port Mansfield reefing project in the fall. 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 material 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.”
CCA is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the nation. With almost 100,000 members in 17 state chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. For more information visit the CCA Newsroom at www.JoinCCA.org.