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Posts Tagged ‘oil spill’

Sportsman Channel Presents $50,000 to CCA at ICAST to Support Gulf Region Recovery Efforts

Funds Will Go into Sportsman Fund Created with CCA in 2010

New Berlin, Wis. (July 15, 2011) – Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, presented a $50,000 check to Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) President Pat Murray at the ICAST Show in Las Vegas. This check will go directly to the “Sportsman Fund,” an internal fund Sportsman Channel originated with CCA in 2010 to raise awareness and funds for Gulf regions working to recover from the 2010 oil spill disaster. CCA is one of the largest non-profit marine conservation groups in America.

“Sportsman Fund” began with the help of DISH Network in August 2010, when it launched Sportsman Channel and Sportsman HD on Ch. 395 and via a la carte pricing. The companies agreed to donate proceeds from the a la carte pricing to the Sportsman Fund, created to benefit Gulf coast habitat restoration and research.

Since then, Sportsman Channel and InterMedia Outdoors utilized print, on-air and digital assets to further promote the cause.

“We are proud to present this check to CCA and to say the campaign to raise funds for Gulf Coast recovery and restoration efforts was a huge success,” said Sportsman COO Todd Hansen.  “This check is very telling of the success the network is experiencing on DISH Network. But we are not finished yet, as we will continue to help CCA promote Sportsman Fund and also lend a hand to tell the stories of those communities that are still so deeply affected.”

CCA has worked closely with government and regulatory agencies since the beginning of the Gulf oil disaster to ensure the Gulf’s habitats, fishing industries, marine life and resources are adequately represented and supported. CCA’s history and experience in marine habitat restoration and coastal conservation will continue to be a vital component in the recovery and restoration of Gulf marine resources.

“We are thankful to have this unique partnership with Sportsman Channel and receive this check, which is a big help in restoring the Gulf of Mexico,” said Pat Murray, CCA president. “There are some very positive programs and signs of progress occurring throughout the Gulf, but there is still much to do. This generous program will be an important part of restoring and enhancing the Gulf’s fragile habitats.”

SPORTSMAN CHANNEL: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities.  Sportsman Channel is now available in HD, check with your local cable or satellite provider. Acquired by InterMedia Outdoors Holdings in 2006, Sportsman Channel reaches 27 million U.S. television households and is a part of the nation’s largest multimedia company targeted exclusively to serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (www.twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl), become a Fan on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sportsmanchannel and download Sportsman App at www.itunes.com/appstore

ABOUT CCA: Coastal Conservation Association (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. CCA’s strength is drawn from the tens of thousands of recreational saltwater anglers who make up its membership. From South Texas to the Puget Sound to the upper reaches of Maine, CCA’s grassroots influence is felt through state capitols, U.S. Congress and, most importantly, in the conservation and restoration of our coastal marine resources. Visit www.JoinCCA.org for more information.

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Posted in CCA Building Conservation, CCA Gulf of Mexico | No Comments »

Gov. Jindal Unveils “Louisiana Plan”

State of Louisiana
Office of the Governor
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2011
Press Office: Melissa Sellers, Kyle Plotkin
Contact: 225-342-8006, (c) 225-328-3755

Gov. Jindal Unveils “Louisiana Plan” For Restoring Damaged Coastal Areas, Fisheries & Oyster Seed Grounds From Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal unveiled the “Louisiana Plan” to start restoring the state’s coastal areas, fisheries and oyster seed grounds from the devastating impact of the BP oil spill. The state will be submitting a list of projects to BP, the Department of Interior and NOAA, and the funding will come from a $1 billion agreement announced in April 2011 for early restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the oil spill.

The “Louisiana Plan” of early restoration projects totals around $530 million. The state expects to receive a large portion of the $1 billion in early restoration funds because Louisiana sustained the brunt of oil spill damage along the Gulf.

The departments of the Interior and Commerce and BP announced a $1 billion agreement for early restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill earlier this year.  The $1 billion agreement includes:

·        $500 million split equally among the five Gulf states ($100M each)

·        $200 million split equally among the Department of the Interior (DoI) and NOAA

·        $300 million to be allocated by DoI and NOAA to states for early restoration projects

The Jindal administration first made a request for early restoration funding in July of 2010, rather than waiting for 10 years or more during legal negotiations, and pushed for a down payment from BP to begin restoring the natural resources injured by the BP oil spill. This early restoration funding – which comes from the responsible parties and includes no taxpayer money – must be used to offset natural resource injuries to wildlife or the coast, or the lose use of natural resources.

Governor Jindal said, “We are working aggressively to get our fishermen and our coastal communities back on their feet following the catastrophic BP oil spill last year. We fought hard to cut the red tape and get BP’s commitment to fund early restoration work so we would not have to wait 10 or more years before damage payments were made to Gulf states. We were pleased BP finally announced a commitment of $1 billion for early Gulf Coast recovery projects just a few months ago. This ‘Louisiana Plan’ we are announcing today will jumpstart work on critical restoration projects including the placement of fish hatcheries, oyster re-seeding and coastal restoration work all along our coast.

“Our plan includes projects totaling more than $500 million because we expect to receive a major portion of the $500 million out of the $1 billion in early restoration funding that has not already been allocated to the states, due to the fact that our coast endured the brunt of the oil spill disaster. Parts of our shoreline are still oiled today and it is critical for this work to begin immediately so we can start to reverse the damage done to our natural resources even while we continue to hold BP accountable. Yet again, we are here to say that we cannot afford to wait. We are taking action.”

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said, “It is crucial that we begin large-scale early restoration work as soon as possible. The state trustees have worked diligently to identify a list of essential projects that will help us begin the process of rebuilding and restoring our coastal resources and Louisiana fisheries. While we won’t know the full impact of the spill for years to come, we can prepare ourselves for what may happen. The Louisiana Marine Fisheries Science and Research Center, and the Oyster Re-establishment Program are two tangible ways to both restore resources now — planting cultch for oyster re-establishment and building the facilities that will be necessary to help restore any damaged fisheries. We cannot wait any longer. I fully support Governor Jindal’s efforts to have the NRDA trustee council approve these projects so we may begin now.”

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said, “These projects are important to the future of not only Louisiana’s coast, but our way of life. The Governor really stepped up to the plate and was aggressive about working with us to build this list.  These projects are greatly needed to begin restoring resources deteriorated by the spill.  We look forward to starting this work, it can’t happen soon enough.”

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph said, “Thanks to the teamwork of Gov. Jindal, the OCPR, and the leaders of the impacted parishes, the regional projects chosen represent a solid opportunity to begin repairing the damage to our coast caused by the spill.”

David Cresson, CEO of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana said, “Recreational fishing is a way of life in Louisiana, not to mention a multi-billion dollar economic driver.  We have the best saltwater fishing in the world, and we simply cannot afford for our fish to be negatively affected in any way by the spill.  That is why CCA believes the Marine Fisheries Science Center and Fish Hatchery project is so critical to our recovery.  It will allow us to supplement any damaged stocks and be prepared in case of similar challenges in the future.  It will provide benefits to Louisiana and her coast for generations.”

Chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Harlon Pearce said, “Development of these restoration projects will help our industry replenish resources lost during the Gulf oil spill disaster and ensure that we maintain a sustainable fishery.”

Al Sunseri, owner of P&J Oysters and member of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force said, “For more than a year now, the Louisiana oyster community has sought restoration to our estuary begin following the BP oil spill. I applaud the Governor for working with the state trustees to find solutions for the oyster community. I am hopeful that the NRDA Trustee Council will quickly approve projects that will help oystermen get back on their feet. We need to restore our oyster harvest grounds because we are ready to get back to work.”

Dr. John Supan, Director of the Louisiana Sea Grant Bivalve Hatchery said, “The establishment of a Marine Fisheries Enhancement and Science Center is a great addition to the innovative work we have already begun here in Louisiana. Currently, at our hatchery, located at the Marine Research Laboratory at Grand Isle, we can produce up to a billion oyster larvae a year to support public oyster reefs and private oyster farms. This allows us the ability to expand oyster culture technology for Louisiana so that the oyster industry will be less dependent upon wild oyster seed.”

Executive Director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Steven Peyronnin said, “The Mississippi River Delta is the cornerstone of a healthy Gulf and the scale and scope of oiled coastline in Louisiana makes it critical to begin restoring these areas as quickly as possible.  The State of Louisiana has worked extremely hard to identify a list of shovel ready projects that can use this funding to begin restoring damaged areas immediately and take the first steps toward long-term recovery of the Gulf.”

Mike Voisin, Commissioner for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and Member of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force said, “The oyster community applauds the Governor and appreciates his efforts to help rebuild and rehabilitate oyster habitats in South Louisiana. The challenges presented to the oyster community by the Deep Water Horizon events of 2010 are being dealt with and met head on by our State and its leadership.”

Chuck Wilson, vice provost for the Louisiana State University Coastal Fisheries Institute said, “Louisiana Sea Grant is grateful for the partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the opportunity to establish the existing hatchery at the Louisiana Marine Research Laboratory. The timeliness of today’s announcement cannot be overstated. We are excited to join efforts with the state to build the nation’s pre-eminent hatchery that will help ensure the long-term stability of the oysters industry.”

Senior Policy Analyst & Government Affairs Manager for the Ocean Conservancy Kris Van Orsdel said, “Restoring Louisiana’s oyster reefs is critical for not only supporting the state’s valuable oyster industry but also providing key ecosystem benefits including habitat for fish and wildlife, improving water quality and coastal protection.”

“Prompt approval of these restoration projects would provide a vital boost to the Gulf Coast’s environmental and economic recovery from the BP oil disaster,” said Paul Harrison, senior director for the Mississippi River Delta restoration project for Environmental Defense Fund. “The barrier island project for the Barataria Barrier Shoreline islands and oyster cultch for public seed grounds are especially worthy proposals.”

“LOUISIANA PLAN” PROJECTS

Oysters:

·        Oyster Reestablishment Program – $15 million. This project has two distinct parts:

o       First, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will contract for the placement of cultch material onto selected public oyster seed grounds. Cultch material consists of limestone rock, crushed concrete, oyster shell and other similar material that, when placed in oyster spawning areas, provides a location and substrate for free floating oyster larvae to attach and grow into oysters.

§         The Department will place cultch material on approximately 855 acres of public oyster seed grounds throughout coastal Louisiana. The approximate cost of this portion of the project is $12 million.

§         The tentative cultch placement locations include Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish), Lake Fortuna/Machias (St. Bernard Parish), HackberryBay (Jefferson/Lafourche Parish), Lake Chien (Terrebonne Parish), Sister Lake (Terrebonne Parish), and Calcasieu Lake (Cameron Parish).

§         This project employs approaches used by LDWF since 1917. Over the nearly 100 years of cultch planting, LDWF has placed over 1.5 million cubic yards of cultch material on nearly 30,000 acres. It provides positive results, usually in as little as 17 months post-cultch placement.

o       The second portion of the project involves constructing hatchery improvements to help facilitate and expedite success of the cultch placement. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with Louisiana Sea Grant, will upgrade the existing Sea Grant oyster hatchery located at the LDWF facility on Grand Isle, Louisiana. The facility will be located next to the Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Lab on Grand Isle at a site owned by Louisiana State University.

Fisheries:

·        Saltwater hatchery – $48 million. This project includes development of a Louisiana Marine Fisheries Enhancement and Science Center. The center will include: 3 fisheries enhancement and research locations, marine fisheries stock enhancement, aquaculture research and enhancement, and education and science facilities.

o       This project would provide facilities for research to allow natural resource managers to develop and evaluate restoration strategies for impacted fish species.

o       The fisheries center will also provide state of the art facilities for rearing fish.

o       Finally, the fisheries center will include a public outreach component that will be used to inform the public about research and restoration progress for issues related to Gulf of Mexico fisheries restoration.

§         The project would be completed in three locations: a 20-acre site in Plaquemines Parish, the existing Marine Research Laboratory on Grand Isle, and a 90-acre site located along the coast in Southwest, LA, which will soon be identified.

Coastal Restoration Projects

·        Chandeleur Islands Restoration – $65 million. We will be working with DOI and the State of Mississippi to define a restoration plan for a portion of the Chandeleur Islands, which we know sustained direct impact damage from the spill.

·        Biloxi Marsh Shoreline Protection – $45 million. The Biloxi Marsh complex, located approximately 30 miles southeast of the city of New Orleans between Chandeleur Sound and Lake Borgne, provides important habitat in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. This early restoration project involves creating a breakwater structure to protect the existing Biloxi Marsh habitat from erosion.

·        Lake Hermitage Additional increment – $13.9 million. This restoration project involves an additional increment of 97.5 acres of marsh creation into a project known as the “Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation Project” that is being funded through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) program. The project is located within the Barataria HydrologicBasin in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

·        Grand Liard Marsh and Ridge Restoration – $31 million. This early restoration project would restore the eastern ridge of Bayou Grand Liard and the adjacent marsh habitat to the east of the Bayou. The project would restore approximately 18,000 linear feet of ridge along the east bank of Bayou Grand Liard to restore the hydraulic barrier between Bayou Grand Liard and Yellow Cotton Bay.

o       In addition to ridge creation, the project would create approximately 328 acres of marsh and it would restore/nourish an additional 140 acres of marsh.

·        Shell Island – $110 million. Shell Island is a part of the Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline (BBBS), and forms a key barrier between saline waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the fresher waters of the Barataria Basin. The island has become fragmented over the past few decades by a combination of strong tropical storms and land subsidence. Restoring the geomorphic and hydrologic function of Shell Island is an important priority for the ecosystems of the Barataria Basin.

·        Cheniere Ronquille Barrier Island Restoration – $44 million. This early restoration project seeks to increase the longevity of Chenier Ronquille Island by restoring its dune and marsh platforms. The project calls for the creation of dune and marsh habitat, repair of breaches in the shoreline, and prevention of new breaches over the 20-year project life.

·        Bay Side Segmented Breakwater at Grand Isle – $3.3 million. This project will reduce erosion on the bay side of Grand Isle, the only inhabited Barrier Island in Louisiana, with the goal of protecting a coastal area, including wetlands. The areas that will be protected include important residential and commercial infrastructure. This project will include construction of six 300-foot breakwaters (approximately 1.5 miles total) on the back bay side of Grand Isle. This project would complete the breakwater structures along the north side of the island and would protect residential and commercial development.

·        West Grand Terre Restoration – $9 million. This project would restore the southwest (Gulf) side of West Grand Terre Island, using sediment pumped from an offshore source area. The total restoration area for this project is approximately 120 acres.

·        West Grand Terre Stabilization – $3 million.West GrandTerre Island has some of the highest erosion rates in coastal Louisiana. This proposed restoration project would stabilize the bay side of southwestern West Grand Terre Island, using rock armament.

·        Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration – Caminada Headland – $75 million. The Caminada Headland is a part of the Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline (BBBS), and forms a key barrier between saline waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the fresher waters of the Barataria Basin. This restoration project will restore the Caminada Headland portion of the barrier shoreline. The projectincludes restoration of the barrier shoreline and creation and restoration of back barrier marsh habitat.

·        Maintain Land bridge between CaillouLake and Gulf of Mexico – $71 million. This proposed NRDA early restoration project involves protection and restoration of approximately 1,600 acres of salt marsh, which will reduce current rates of degradation and erosion and sustain the land barrier between Caillou Lake and the Gulf of Mexico.  The project goals are to reduce current rates of degradation along this land bridge; and to sustain the coastal ecosystem in this region.

FACTS ON BP OIL SPILL IMPACT IN LOUISIANA

·        Federal data shows that that coastal Louisiana received approximately 92 percent of the heavily and moderately oiled shorelines in the entire Gulf of Mexico since the BP-Deepwater Horizon disaster.

·        An estimated 60 percent or more of injured, oiled and killed birds, mammals, fish and other wildlife found were offshore Louisiana.

·        Even today, 100 percent of the heavily oiled shoreline, over 99 percent of the moderately oiled shoreline and nearly 90 percent of the light or very light oiled shoreline in the Gulf of Mexico is in Louisiana.

·        Over 90 percent of the species in the Gulf of Mexico and 98 percent of the commercially harvested fish and shellfish in the Gulf are dependent on coastal Louisiana’s unique estuary for sustainability.

·        In addition, Louisiana’s coastal area is the largest wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and song birds.  Tens of millions of birds winter in Louisiana’s coastal area each year.

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Sportsman Channel and DISH Network Collaborate To Support Gulf Region Recovery Efforts

Sportsman SD and HD Now Available as A la Carte Option; New Subscriber Proceeds To Support Gulf Coast Fund & Coastal Conservation Association

New Berlin, Wis. (August 31, 2010) – Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, today announced the network is available in both SD and HD as an a la carte option on DISH Network Ch. 395. In an effort to raise awareness and funds for Gulf regions working to recover from the recent oil spill disaster, Sportsman Channel will funnel this year’s proceeds from the a la carte pricing to a special “Sportsman’s Fund” created with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) to benefit Gulf coast habitat restoration and research.  CCA is one of the largest non-profit marine conservation groups in America.

To help support and bring awareness to these efforts, DISH Network is offering a free preview of Sportsman Channel Sept. 3 – 28.  Additionally, Sportsmen Channel and its parent company, InterMedia Outdoors, are utilizing all print, on-air and digital assets to further promote the cause.

Outdoor enthusiasts can subscribe to Sportsman Channel a la carte by visiting www.dish.com or calling (800) 894-9131. Sportsman Channel and Sportsman HD launched in DISH Network’s America’s Top 250 package in February 2010.

“Because we’re donating our monthly fee to CCA, every new Sportsman Channel SD and HD a la carte subscriber on DISH Network is helping Gulf region sportsmen, families and wildlife,” said Sportsman CEO Gavin Harvey.  “We are proud to join DISH Network and CCA in this drive to raise money and also to raise awareness that Gulf communities still need our support.”

CCA has worked closely with government and regulatory agencies since the beginning of the Gulf oil disaster to ensure the Gulf’s habitats, fishing industries, marine life and resources are adequately represented and supported.  CCA’s history and experience in marine habitat restoration and coastal conservation will continue to be a vital component in the recovery and restoration of Gulf marine resources.

“We are thankful to have this unique partnership with Sportsman Channel and DISH Network that helps to raise awareness and vital funds to restore the Gulf of Mexico,” said Pat Murray, CCA president. “There are some very positive programs and signs of progress occurring throughout the Gulf, but there is still much to do. This generous program will be an important part of restoring and enhancing the Gulf’s fragile habitats.”

SPORTSMAN CHANNEL: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities.  Sportsman Channel is now available in HD, check with your local cable or satellite provider. Acquired by InterMedia Outdoors Holdings in 2006, Sportsman Channel reaches 27 million U.S. television households and is a part of the nation’s largest multimedia company targeted exclusively to serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts. Visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com, follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl (www.twitter.com/SPORTSMANchnl), become a Fan on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sportsmanchannel and download Sportsman App at www.itunes.com/appstore

ABOUT CCA: Coastal Conservation Association (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. CCA’s strength is drawn from the tens of thousands of recreational saltwater anglers who make up its membership. From South Texas to the Puget Sound to the upper reaches of Maine, CCA’s grassroots influence is felt through state capitols, U.S. Congress and, most importantly, in the conservation and restoration of our coastal marine resources. Visit www.JoinCCA.org for more information.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sportsman Channel

Michelle Scheuermann, 262.432.9100 ext. 111;mscheuermann@thesportsmanchannel.com

Amy Sorrells, 404-550-4885; amyssorrells@comcast.net

Coastal Conservation Association

Ted Venker, 713-626-4234; twvenker@JoinCCA.org

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Posted in CCA Atlantic States, CCA Building Conservation, CCA Gulf of Mexico, CCA Pacific Northwest, CCA South Atlantic | No Comments »

Governor Jindal Says Go Fish!

BATON ROUGE, La. – Saltwater recreational fishing reopened in the vast majority of Louisiana’s state waters three weeks ago, and it’s time for anglers to return to the water with their families and friends, according to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The governor joined several representatives of the recreational fishing community on a fishing trip Wednesday, July 28 in the Gulf of Mexico south of Houma, Louisiana, catching a variety of popular sport fish.

Governor Jindal said, “One of the greatest traditions in the Sportsman’s Paradise is recreational fishing. That tradition was put on hold the first half of our summer because of closures arising out of the Deepwater Horizon incident, but now most of our state waters are reopened to recreational fishing. From what I saw firsthand and what we caught, fishing is back!”

In a national show of support for regional anglers, Jindal was joined on his fishing trip by Center for Coastal Conservation President Jeff Angers; International Game Fish Association President Rob Kramer; American Sportfishing Association President Mike Nussman; Sport Fishing magazine Editor-in-Chief Doug Olander, and Coastal Conservation Association Tide magazine Editor Ted Venker.

These recreational fishing-industry leaders thanked the governor for his leadership to help ensure that coastal anglers can once again get back out on the water with families and friends. “Sport fishermen are America’s first conservationists,” Angers said. “Re-opening safe waters and getting anglers back to the coast is the best thing for conservation and for recovery.”

With coastal businesses still reeling from fisheries closures at the height of their busiest season, Nussman noted the importance of making whole the thousands of local businesses dependent on recreational fishing. Jindal promised to seek a timely resolution on reopening federal waters that remain closed to all fishing.

“Countless bait shops and tackle stores have seen their inventories nearly frozen on their shelves for more than three months, and while there may be a light at the end of the tunnel now, the effect of the closures will continue to ripple up the supply chain,” said Nussman. “Getting anglers back on the water is the first step for those businesses to get back on their feet, but the long shadow cast by 100 days of little or no business activity must be addressed.”

Support for coastal resources was atop the agenda on the fishing trip. “If you look hard enough, every crisis presents an opportunity and though it is difficult to see a silver lining in this disaster, CCA is inspired by the governor’s vision and leadership as a true conservationist. He clearly sees the need for a long-term commitment to habitat and coastal restoration,” said Venker. “Proceeding with plans to build a hatchery and marine research center may be the key to safeguarding Louisiana’s amazing array of sportfishing opportunities now and in the future.”

Capt. Tommy Pellegrin of Houma, Louisiana, hosted the trip aboard his charter boat, Reel Life, a 39-foot custom boat built by Jeanerette, Louisiana boat-builder Gravois Boats. After a 50-mile trip into the Gulf of Mexico beyond the closed area on Wednesday, Pellegrin put his clients onto hungry fish swarming around oil rigs. With a request from his son to bring home fish for dinner, the Governor returned to Baton Rouge with an ice chest of mangrove snapper filets the Jindals grilled on Thursday and Saturday.

“We didn’t see a drop of oil on the two-hour boat ride across the closed area and passed several prime fishing areas that would certainly have been just as productive,” said Kramer. “You can tell by the nonstop action that these fish have been under no pressure. All the ingredients for spectacular fishing trips are here – all that’s missing are the anglers.”

While the state was able to act quickly to open inshore areas to recreational and some commercial fishing, Jindal expressed frustration that the federal process of testing fish samples for oil contamination has been so slow. While he stressed that ensuring public safety is paramount, Jindal said he has urged the federal government to expedite the testing so that federal closed areas can be reopened as soon as possible.

After enjoying the day’s calm seas and remarkably steady fishing, Olander said he was impressed by the resilience of Louisiana’s fisheries.

“The last few years have presented a tremendous set of challenges to Louisiana, but it remains one of the best places to fish anywhere,” he said. “I’ve fished all over and have long maintained that Louisiana’s sport fishery is truly one of the best in the world,” adding that the state’s residents, with a long and deep sporting heritage, appreciate what they have.

From left: Ted Venker, editor TIDE Magazine; Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation; Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; Capt. Tommy Pellegrin; Doug Olander, editor-in-chief of Sport Fishing Magazine and Rob Kramer, president of the International Game Fish Association. Photo by Doug Olander

Mike Nussman, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Jeff Angers with a mangrove snapper caught off Louisiana. hoto by Doug Olander

Stopping in Lake Pelto to fish under some working birds on the way offshore, Ted Venker and Mike Nussman tied into a couple of well-known Louisiana residents. Photo by Doug Olander

Capt. Tommy Pellegrin, Louisiana State Trooper Dwain Rand and Gov. Bobby Jindal with a 20-pound cobia. Photo by Doug Olander

Jeff Angers had a good time hauling in a feisty blackfin tuna 70 miles offshore Louisiana. Photo by Ted Venker

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Posted in CCA Federal Fisheries, CCA Gulf of Mexico | 1 Comment »

Mapping a Road to Recovery

Habitat restoration focus of CCA presentation to Senate Democrats

WASHINGTON DC – Key conservation leaders from groups including Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, The Isaac Walton League and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and other members of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee this week to discuss critical conservation issues facing recreational anglers and hunters.

The meeting addressed important topics such as Gulf oil crisis relief for recreational fishing industries, access issues and need for proper conservation of natural resources. CCA President Patrick D. Murray took the opportunity to express concern over the short and long-term conservation needs of coastal resources in light of the oil spill.

“Recreational anglers and the businesses they support along the Gulf are struggling,” Murray told the gathering. “The immediate need to help these businesses must be combined with a long-term vision for restoring the resources that support recreational angling. Planning should begin now to rebuild the marine environment of the Gulf Coast through massive habitat programs, construction of hatcheries and development of marine research centers.”

In previous meetings with Administration officials and with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), as well as in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, CCA has encouraged federal lawmakers to make preparations now for when efforts shift from cleaning up the oil to the enduring task of repairing the damage.

“CCA has run successful marine habitat enhancement programs throughout its 30-plus-year history, and we have tens of thousands of members who were on the Gulf Coast before the oil spill and will be here long after the cameras and microphones are gone,” said Murray. “However, with the scale of the challenge now before us, we need lawmakers to commit to rebuilding the marsh, the reefs and the fish stocks. That will define long-term success.”

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CCA outlines plans for oil spill recovery

Meeting with Sen. Richard Shelby seeks support for habitat restoration, hatchery

ORANGE BEACH, AL – In a meeting with U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Coastal Conservation Association Alabama called on BP and the federal government to support plans for habitat restoration and construction of a saltwater fish hatchery/research center to reverse damages to Gulf marine resources as quickly as possible. Sen. Shelby traveled to Orange Beach on June 19 to meet with business owners, recreational anglers, and commercial fisherman impacted by the spill.

“The quality of recreational fishing is not just a matter for fishermen,” CCA Alabama Chairman Edwin Lamberth told Sen. Shelby. “It affects every single business that depends on revenue from recreational fishermen visiting Alabama’s coast. We must restore recreational fishing quickly not only to ensure that the resource is protected for the long-term, but also to get business back on its feet.”

Lamberth explained that the best way to reverse the damage done to the recreational fishery is to begin habitat restoration projects as soon as the oil spill is contained or stopped, and begin preparations for construction of a fish hatchery and marine research center to rebuild local fish populations.

“I have always been a supporter of marine habitat projects such as oyster bed restoration on Alabama’s coast, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure our habitat is protected and restored,” Sen. Shelby said.

CCA Louisiana Executive Director David Cresson recently testified before the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife on the impacts of the oil spill and also emphasized the need for a commitment to habitat restoration and hatchery/research facilities. CCA’s Building Conservation Program has initiated hundreds of projects to protect and restore marine habitat.

“CCA Alabama has made substantial investments in the construction of inshore and offshore artificial reefs, grass bed and marsh protection, and oyster bed projects,” Lamberth said. “Our members undertook those projects proactively to ensure our fisheries would remain robust and healthy. But the scale of this disaster is unprecedented and while we certainly have the manpower and the willpower to do our part, we’ll need willing partners to do everything that needs to be done to restore the marine environment now.”

CCA Alabama intends to meet with BP officials, the State of Alabama Department of Conservation, and the marine science departments of the University of South Alabama, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama to formulate plans for a hatchery/research center and to develop habitat projects that will produce the greatest impact when the leak is stopped and efforts shift from clean-up to repair.

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CCA Invited to Testify on Oil Spill before House Subcommittee

David Cresson, executive director of CCA Louisiana, testified before the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife of the Committee today on the short and long term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  Cresson’s comments ranged from the economic impacts of the spill to the irreparable damage being done to the lives of coastal residents all along the Gulf Coast who depend on recreational angling.

David Cresson, CCA Louisiana executive director

“There have not been many challenges in the past 25 years that the members of CCA have not met head on, with their eyes clearly on the horizon. What I see now is a remarkably committed group of people who, for the moment at least, simply don’t know where to even begin,” Cresson said. “However, I have no doubt that we will find a way to reverse this disaster. I am confident that these darkest of days will be beaten back by the people of Louisiana and the other Gulf States through the same types of projects that have defined CCA since the beginning. We will rebuild reef by reef, acre by acre, fish by fish. When the leak is plugged and the last camera is turned off, when the rest of the world  is no longer focused on the Gulf of Mexico, we will still be here, as we always have been, ready to do what needs to be done.”

Cresson was one of a handful of Gulf residents invited to testify before the Subcommittee. For a complete copy of his written remarks, click HERE, or click HERE for a video of Cresson’s testimony before the Subcommittee.

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