What is the CCA?
Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is an organization of strong state chapters comprised of avid recreational fishermen who have banded together to address conservation issues nationally and within their respective states.
The outdoor sports enthusiasts and conservationists who make up the organization recognize that only a concerted, on-going effort of major proportions will save the natural resources of our coastal waters from certain depletion or destruction. They are dedicated to preventing that from happening through programs of education, legislation and restoration.
The group had its beginning in 1977 in Texas, where CCA Texas was formed by concerned anglers who were alarmed by declining fish populations. They were made painfully aware of the inherent dangers brought on by dramatically increased commercial fishing pressure and from growing numbers of recreational anglers.
CCA swept across the Gulf States in eight years: First to Alabama (1982) and Louisiana (1984), then to Mississippi and Florida (1985). The Atlantic coast presence of CCA Florida meant a surge up the east coast, where CCA chapters were formed in South Carolina (1986), Georgia (1987), Virginia and North Carolina (1989). This expansion continued northward with the formation of CCA state chapters in Maine (1994), Massachusetts and Maryland (1995), Connecticut and New York (1996) and New Hampshire (1998).
In coastal state capitols from the Gulf to the north-Atlantic , CCA chapters are highly regarded watchdogs of fishing activities. They are also valued as cooperative partners with state wildlife and fisheries agencies in developing programs and legislation that protect and enhance the marine resource. Every state has enjoyed its successes and each has endured disappointments. But none has given the first indication of letting up in the fight to return a wholesome coastal fishery to the recreational fishing public and future generations.
Nationally, CCA has led or shared in the efforts to stop the disastrous netting of redfish in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the overfishing of kingfish. Another CCA success was the key role played in obtaining a Federal Management Plan for Atlantic billfish. CCA has played an important part in the ongoing recovery of striped bass and the elimination of destructive fishing gear. The organization continues to focus on the Magnuson Act, to ensure that conservation concerns are appropriately addressed. The involvement of CCA in the Fishery Management Councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission remains a high priority.
CCA and its state organizations are engaged in hundreds of different programs and projects relating to conservation at all times. These programs and projects include scientific studies, scholarship funding, artificial reefs, hatcheries, contaminant studies, hydrology studies, fresh water inflows, support of local enforcement agencies and many others. But their sights are all trained on the same overall objectives: First, protect the resource, then improve the current and future fishing for everyone.