CCA South Carolina celebrates 10 years of marine habitat work
Donation of two more trailers marks angling group’s ongoing commitment to improve state’s marine habitat
Columbia, S.C. – Ten years ago, Coastal Conservation Association South Carolina (CCA SC) launched its habitat program – The Topwater Action Campaign. Its focus was primarily to work with the SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Marine Division to create greater awareness of the importance of collecting and recycling used oyster shells throughout South Carolina. Fast forward to 2018 and as an extension of that commitment, CCA SC, Building Conservation Trust (BCT), and Toadfish Outfitters partnered to provide two additional dump trailers for a total of eight the program now has at its disposal provided by the Topwater Action Campaign. This latest contribution brings the total investment by CCA SC and its habitat partner’s to more than $100,000 in equipment alone to the SCDNR’s oyster programs.
“We’ve always said ‘conservation is a team sport,’ and CCA SC’s Topwater Action Campaign is a hallmark of partnership in marine conservation and stewardship,” said Robert Boyles, DNR Deputy Director for Marine Resources. “CCA SC has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding and equipment to the DNR to support oyster shell recycling and reef-building activities. In addition to equipment, CCA volunteers have contributed thousands of hours to construct oyster reef habitat up and down the South Carolina coast, providing much-needed muscle, moral support, and investment in habitat creation and stewardship. We simply could not have had the impact in promoting a strong marine conservation ethic without them.”
Working with local partners like Toadfish Outfitters, CCA SC and the Building Conservation Trust (BCT), CCA’s national habitat program, have been able to invest not just in estuarine habitat project such as oyster reefs, but also in nearshore and offshore reefs, thereby supporting the entire scope of marine habitat. The Topwater Action Campaign has also funded water quality studies and will be expanding its support to scientific research and fisheries monitoring studies in 2018 to support data collection for stock assessments, seeking to answer habitat questions, and provide information for fisheries management decisions.
“Toadfish Outfitters is exceptionally proud to be a part of this effort and it’s being a part of efforts like this that honestly led to the founding of Toadfish Outfitters,” said Casey Davidson, president of Toadfish Outfitters. “These waters, these estuaries, these marine resources are a part of our DNA here at Toadfish Outfitters and we will continue to pledge our resources and our support to programs and projects through the SCDNR and CCA that improve them.”
“Throughout its history as an angling advocacy group, CCA SC has been there to take on the challenges facing recreational anglers. For years that was in the fisheries management process which in SC is in the General Assembly,” said Mike Able, CCA SC Government Relations Committee chairman. “We will continue to do that and our reputation is one that is highly valued and sought-out in that arena. However, CCA SC is committed to a holistic approach to the wide variety of issues affecting our marine resources, including habitat, research, and data collection. To have valued partners and enthusiastic members provide the resources to do all of that is what makes CCA the most complete recreational angling advocacy group in the Palmetto State and in country.”