CCA, LDWF and partners complete historic project at
Independence Island Reef
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have completed construction on Independence Island Reef, believed to be the largest limestone inshore artificial reef project ever in Louisiana. Work crews finished the job on Monday afternoon.
“This project is the result of nearly two years of hard work and dedication by CCA volunteers, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and NOAA,” said David Cresson, CCA Louisiana Executive Director. “We are so appreciative of all of them for their incredible commitment to this important project. Anglers and their families will enjoy the benefits of this reef for generations.”
“The recreational fishing industry has sustained a number of challenges over the last six years – hurricanes, the Gulf oil spill and recent flood waters from the Mississippi River have and will continue to impact our inshore reefs along Louisiana’s coast,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “Projects like this one are an essential component in restoring our recreational fisheries. We are incredibly grateful for Governor Jindal, Secretary Barham, CCA and of all our partners for their leadership in what is an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast that have been damaged by erosion.”
Nearly 8,000 tons of limestone were dropped from barges onto four acres about three miles Northeast of Grand Isle, where Independence Island was once located. The total site acreage is more than 50 acres. The center of the reef is located at 29° 18′ 26.98″ N, -89° 56′ 01.01″W and will be marked by several mooring buoys. The buoys will be deployed later this month.
Cresson also thanked a number of additional partners who helped make the project possible, namely Shell Oil Company, The Paul Candies Family, Vulcan Materials and Bertucci Contractors.
“Without their generosity and their commitment to conservation, this project would not have been possible,” Cresson said.
Shell Oil Company made a lead gift to CCA’s Building Conservation Program and helped announce the project last December.
“Shell is proud to have been part of this project through CCA’s Building Conservation Program,” said John Hollowell, Executive Vice President, Deep Water for Shell Upstream Americas. “Shell remains committed to the Gulf Coast and to the people who live there, so the Independence Island Reef project was a great way for us to give back.”
Funding for the project was also made available through LDWF’s Artificial Reef Development Fund.
CCA Conservation Committee Chairman John Walther says he expects the reef to start holding fish in the coming months.
“Reefs we have built in the past have proven to provide great habitat for our favorite species, like speckled trout and redfish,” said Walther. “I expect anglers will be landing nice catches from the new reef before the end of the summer.”
The CCA Building Conservation Program was created to provide funding for local, state and national marine fisheries and habitat conservation and restoration projects. Program funds are directed to CCA state chapters for grassroots-driven projects.
“Building Conservation combines the grassroots strength of CCA with the resources of Shell to allow our members to take the program to new levels,” said Pat Murray, CCA president. “It is an exciting time in marine conservation, and the restoration projects that will come from this initiative will play a key role in the enhancement of Gulf resources for today’s anglers, and for generations of anglers to come.”
For more information contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or email@example.com. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
CCA Louisiana is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the state. With more than 30,000 members and volunteers in 24 local chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit CCA at www.CCALouisiana.com for more information, on Facebook or Twitter @CCALouisiana.
Tags: CCA Building Conservation, Independence Island, Louisiana artificial reef
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State of Louisiana
Office of the Governor
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14 2010
Press Office: Melissa Sellers, Kyle Plotkin
Contact: 225-342-8006, (c) 225-328-3755
BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and Shell Oil Company to announce a new public-private partnership – between the recreational angling community, private businesses and the state – to assist in CCA’s ongoing Building Conservation Habitat Program.Shell has committed 1.5 million dollars to CCA’s Building Conservation Habitat Program.
Governor Jindal announced that Independence Island – formerly an emergent island in Barataria Bay near Grand Isle – will be one of the first beneficiaries of the Building Conservation Program. Independence Island was formerly one of Louisiana’s popular fishing destinations, but due to coastal erosion and subsidence, the Island has sunk to the point that it is no longer a viable fisheries habitat. Governor Jindal said the state’s new partnership with CCA and Shell will help resurrect the treasured marine life habitat associated with Independence Island.
Governor Jindal said, “Louisiana’s coastal environment has faced many challenges, some man-made and some natural. This makes it increasingly important for us to find innovative ways to restore and enhance the coastal areas that support state’s economy. Our marsh is the heart and soul of Louisiana. We have a sporting heritage second to none and a long, proud connection to our land, water and resources. Louisiana sportsmen know better than anyone the need to give something back to the environment so that we can continue to enjoy it while preserving this heritage for our children and grandchildren. That’s what makes this announcement today so inspiring – CCA’s Building Conservation Habitat Program is a long-term commitment from the angling community to the incredible natural resources of Louisiana. Partnerships like the one announced today are a critical component for helping our citizens get back on their feet after the oil spill and preserving the beauty of coastal Louisiana for generations to come.”
David Cresson, Executive Director and CEO of CCA Louisiana said, “Today’s announcement is a great example of how when private enterprise, members of the community and the state work together – they can accomplish great work. This reef will create new habitat for a large variety of marine species and will provide recreational fishing opportunities in an area that had been heavily affected by coastal erosion and other factors. I applaud Shell and Governor Jindal for working with CCA to spearhead this project, and I look forward to our continued work in conserving and enhancing our coastal fisheries.”
John Hollowell, Executive Vice President, Deep Water, Upstream Americas, Shell Energy Resources Company said, “Shell has a long history of support for environment and habitat projects, and our thousands of employees in Louisiana are excited about the possibilities of this partnership. CCA members have an amazing track record of conservation work that sets them apart. We believe in the organization and are committed to doing our part to ensure that the Building Conservation Habitat Program has the tools to bring significant marine habitat restoration projects from concept to reality.”
Patrick Murray, president of CCA National said, “This partnership combines the grassroots strength of CCA with the resources of Shell to allow our members to take the Building Conservation Habitat Program to new levels. It is an exciting time in marine conservation, and the restoration projects that will come from this initiative will play a key role in the enhancement of Gulf resources for both today’s anglers and for generations of anglers to come.”
The project calls for installing two reefs covering four acres at Independence Island this spring, each reef consisting of 3,500 tons of limestone to provide hard-structure habitat for marine fisheries. Almost immediately after installation, these reefs will start attracting marine organisms and forage fish, which will draw recreational species and provide new opportunities for anglers in Grand Isle.
CCA worked with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to permit a 55-acre site for future reef development that includes the original footprint of Independence Island. The Independence Island Reef is being made possible by a $250,000 donation from the CCA Building Conservation Habitat Program and matching funds from the state.
CCA has a highly successful artificial reef program with reefs completed in Lake Pelto, Vermilion Bay, Calcasieu Lake, and Lake Ponchartrain. In in-shore coastal areas, this program has used crushed limestone to construct low-relief “shell-pad” type structures to enhance habitats and fisheries resources.
Tags: artificial reef, CCA Building Conservation, Governor Jindal, Independence Island
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