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What Has CCA Done Lately?

Florida’s water quality continues to be CCA Florida’s highest advocacy priority. CCA Florida’s Water Quality Sub-committee continues to work on and monitor several resource issues around the state. 

CCA worked with the FWC and local captains to reduce the cobia boat limit from 6 to 2 in Florida waters and reduced the commercial daily limit from 2 to 1 with a boat limit of 2. 

CCA and the Building Conservation Trust (BCT) donated over $300,000 in 2018 to deploy 7 new artificial reefs and 11 coastal habitat restoration projects in Florida. 

CCA created the annual Trash Tour in 2017, engaging over 400 volunteers to clean up more than 10 tons of trash and debris from our local coastal waterways.

CCA will continue working with guides and the FWC to implement a provision stating that no guides shall possess a limit of trout or redfish while guiding. 

CCA is working with the Gulf Council and the FWC to keep State Management for red snapper moving, giving the state more fishing opportunities. One of CCA’s highest priorities is the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. 

CCA FL STAR will host the 5thannual STAR event lasting 101days, continuing our focus on angler education and awarding almost $500,000 in prizes and scholarships. 

CCA has continued its work with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to keep the Florida Keys a premier boating and fishing destination. CCA helped create the Blue Star Guide Program that will be instrumental in keeping the Florida Keys a premier fishing destination.

CCA continues to work with the FWC and Biscayne National Park to help protect corals and fish species while maintaining angler access within the park. 

CCA is continuing to work with the Florida Legislature to create a CCA Florida License plate. Proceeds from the plate will benefit habitat restoration. 

CCA is working with the FWC and the SAFMC to mandate the use of descending devices while fishing for reef fish. This device will greatly reduce the dead discards that are keeping some of our fisheries closed. 

CCA partnered on several grants and was awarded over $250,000 in grant funding in 2018, all of which will go directly back into the water for habitat restoration projects. 

CCA is partnering with Duke Energy, Mote Marine Laboratory and the FWC to help rebuild redfish and snook stocks in southwest Florida through hatchery efforts. 

CCA is working with the FWC to stop a directed fish trap fishery in Federal Gulf waters.

CCA sponsored the restoration of 50,000 clams back into Sarasota Bay. A single 2-inch clam filters out 50,000,000 red tide organisms per day which equates to 2.5 trillion organisms per day for the 50,000 clams.
In 2016, CCA Florida began recognizing our members who have gone above and beyond with regard to habitat restoration in each publication of Sea Watch Magazine. In the Fall 2018 edition, we are recognizing John Lindsley, Vice President of the CCA Mid-Coast chapter as the next Habitat Hero. John is 4thgeneration Floridian originally from south Florida where he grew up.  John has been hunting and fishing since he was a young child. He was inspired by his father who loved boating and his mother who loved hunting and fishing.  He moved from Miami to Volusia County in 2005 and went to Stetson University.  

In addition to his Vice President role with the Mid-Coast chapter, John also serves on the CCA state government relations committee and the water quality committee.   He got involved with CCA over six years ago because of the declining environmental conditions along coastline where he lives and in South Florida and the Everglades.  When he moved to the Volusia area in 2005, he saw healthy seagrass in Mosquito Lagoon along with great red-fishing.   However, following the devastating Indian River Lagoon (IRL) algae superbloom in 2011, John realized that he needed to get involved somehow and he decided to join CCA.  His active involvement in habitat restoration and water quality with CCA emanated from his understanding when he joined the organization that a healthy fishery is dependent on healthy habitat and water quality. “Habitat is the basis of it all – without habitat there is nothing else,” John said.

When CCA Florida began on its path to substantially increase the organizations impact on habitat restoration 4 or 5 years ago, John saw this as an opportunity to get CCA involved in a local Volusia County project.  He first reached out to Joe Nolin, Volusia County’s Coastal Project Manager, in 2015 to partner on a project.  Several projects were explored over the course of the next few years and in early 2017 a very unique artificial reef opportunity surfaced.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami forfeited a 150-foot steel vessel, the “M/V Lady Philomena,” and a 90-foot tugboat, the “Everglades,” after being seized with illegal contraband.  The vessels became immediately available to anyone with the means to tow them and get them cleaned for reefing.  John was working with the county to help quickly raise the funds to secure both vessels and he contacted CCA for assistance.  CCA worked with their national habitat program, the Building Conservation Trust (BCT), on securing a $25,000 donation to Volusia County to secure the vessels.  On Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 the “M/V Lady Philomena” and tug “Everglades”were deployed off the coast of Volusia County. The vessels both landed upright on Volusia County Reef Site 12 which is a permitted reef construction area located 9 miles northeast of Ponce de Leon Inlet in 75 feet of water.  This prolific artificial reef provides access for smaller boats and for youth to fish and dive it given its proximity to land. John has also volunteered for several coastal cleanup events in Volusia and Brevard Counties over the last four years.  “It’s amazing what you actually pull out of just one small area,” he said. 

With regard to upcoming habitat projects and water quality issues, John expressed his concerns for our fragile inshore estuaries being at the greatest risk all around Florida as the population continues to grow.  “We see it with the red tide down in southwest Florida, we see it with our algae blooms on the east coast, and we see it with the seagrass die-offs,” he said. “We need more awareness of the issues along with retrofitting of the current infrastructure in Florida.”    Other concerns of his include the need for better wastewater management, stoppage of the constant sewage spills, and more investment into infrastructure upgrades to prevent further deterioration of our habitat. He would also like to see a bigger push in Everglades restoration and feels like we are finally starting to see more awareness which has led to legislative changes.  

John asserted that every chapter in CCA is important on a grassroots level because of the local knowledge and local source of people that can bring it to a state or national level if necessary.  The Mid-Coast area where John resides is a very diverse area that has inshore and offshore fisheries, rivers, and natural springs.  John noted that these are some of the most impacted areas and include Mosquito Lagoon and further to the south the Banana River in Brevard County.  “We need to stay the course and continue pushing on for future generations.  I want my kids to fish in Florida and I want to see our habitat and fisheries better for them than they were for us,” he said.  “I definitely think that the mindset of people have changed realizing the value of our fisheries and habitat to the economy.”

And on a lighter note, John’s favorite species of fish is without doubt, the redfish. Aside from how hard they fight, he is intrigued by the sport of stalking and hunting them.  He enjoys watching them feed on shrimp and crabs on the bottom with their tails waving in the air.  “It gives you a feeling unlike any other,” he emphasized, “when you target a specific fish and go after it.”  As a 4thgeneration Floridian with 5thgeneration children, we sincerely thank John for all of his dedication to the restoration of our coastal resources.

2018 Contender

CONGRATULATIONS EARL WILLIAMS!

 

He is the winner in the 2018 Contender Raffle!

He's a Life Member and he's taking home a brand new Contender Boats 28 Tournament with twin 175 HP Yamaha Outboards and a custom AmeraTrail trailer.

Thank you to our partners at Contender Boats for their continued dedication, which helped to raise over $170,000 to support conservation initiatives!

Visit our Facebook page to see the ways these donations are making a difference in the conservation of our marine resources!

Coastal Conservation Association Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mote Marine Laboratory launch initiative to enhance the snook fishery on Florida’s southwest coast by stocking 10,000 juvenile snook during a two-year project.

Orlando, FL – September 10, 2018 – Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida) is partnering with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Mote Marine Laboratory (Mote) to address the loss to the snook population on the southwest coast as a result of the red tide event.  

The two-year initiative includes raising and releasing 10,000 hatchery-reared juvenile snook along Florida’s southwest coast and will launch in April 2019 following the Florida red tide bloom and when waters are determined to be safe.  Fundraising for the program, a cost of over $440,000, will include outreach to the community through an Adopt-A-Snook program and the formation of additional private-nonprofit partnerships.

“Anyone who lives or fishes the southwest coast understands the devastation our fisheries are seeing from this red tide, and it’s our duty to address the issue,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director.  “Snook are an iconic fish to our state, and we are extremely excited and honored to partner with FWC and Mote to help recover this fishery and enhance it for future generations.”

Snook are one of the most sought after catches by anglers in southwest Florida, and they return to the same beaches to spawn annually during summer.  Unfortunately, summer was also a peak time for red tide toxins along the beaches of Gasparilla and Little Gasparilla Islands.  

“The continuing impacts of red tide in southwest Florida are evident to all of us who call these communities our home,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory.  “One of the potentially most devastating and highly visible impacts around Charlotte Harbor was to the spawning snook population. Many of the dead snook were laden with eggs to produce the next generation.  Governor Scott and our partners at FWC quickly called on Mote and provided our fisheries scientist with the resources to conduct a rapid snook population impacts assessment, but much more needs to be done to ensure the recovery of this iconic species.  That is why we are proud to partner with our colleagues at CCA Florida and FWC to launch the Adopt-A-Snook partnership for red tide recovery.”

With support and partnership from CCA Florida and FWC, Mote will locate and restock juvenile snook to specific, tidal-creek “nurseries” that would usually be supplied by spawning aggregations hit hard by the bloom. Each of the hatchery-reared snook will be tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags to allow Mote scientists to monitor and track the progress of the juveniles throughout the study, which includes monthly stocking efforts designed to elevate the system towards its carrying capacity.  Decades of intensive snook aquaculture and sustainable stock enhancement research provides the ability for the State of Florida to rapidly respond through this partnership effort to a significant impact from red tide.  

Mote’s experimental work has shown that the abundance of juvenile snook can nearly double in underutilized nursery habitats through stocking 10-month-old juveniles.  In addition, ongoing Mote studies in Sarasota County suggest that tagged, juvenile snook find some degree of refuge from red tide in tidal creek and riverine environments with fresher water less conducive to the red tide alga, Karenia brevis.  

Governor Scott said, “As our communities continue to be impacted by this year’s red tide, we have provided all available resources for response and recovery.  I’ve directed $9 million in grant funding for local communities as well as funding for Mote Marine Laboratory to assist in animal rescue efforts and funding for VISIT FLORIDA to help businesses recover.  We will continue to do everything we can to support our coastal communities that are being impacted.”

“We appreciate the leadership and support of Governor Scott to increase our efforts to help the communities affected by naturally occurring red tide,” stated FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton.  “FWC and Mote have a decades-long partnership with snook research and recovery, and we are pleased to be a partner with CCA Florida, Mote and the community to enhance this effort.”

In addition to the stocking enhancement initiative, the organizations are encouraging anglers to help the snook and other inshore populations by releasing their catch.  This summer, CCA Florida launched the “Release Them For Tomorrow” campaign as a way to support several species’ growth through catch and release, including snook. “It is going to take everyone doing their part to get our fisheries back to health,” stated Gorski. Anglers are encouraged to share the message by tagging their social media photos, comments and messages with #ReleaseThemForTomorrow to show their support.  Anglers can become engaged by joining CCA Florida at JoinCCA.org.For more information visit the Facebook page or ccaflorida.org.
Nonprofit-corporate partnership expands to stock the redfish population on Florida’s southwest coast following Florida red tide.

 

Orlando, FL – September 6, 2018 – Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida)Duke Energy and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have historically partnered on initiatives to enhance Florida’s fisheries, and the organizations are again joining forces to address the loss to the redfish population on the southwest coast as a result of red tide.  The nonprofit CCA Florida, Duke Energy and FWC will be releasing over 10,000 Duke Energy hatchery-reared redfish following the Florida red tide bloom and when waters are determined to be safe, thanks to a donation from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center.

 

“We’re all aware of the devastation the red tide has caused our fisheries and we’re thrilled to partner with Duke Energy for this amazing redfish stock enhancement initiative,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. “We’ve asked our members and anglers throughout the state to catch-and-release, but there’s more that needs to be done, and this partnership - as with our ongoing relationship with Duke - will help to repopulate a fishery that’s iconic to our state.”
 
The initiative will take place when the waters are determined to be clear of red tide and will include the release of 200 tagged adult (25”-30”) redfish and 10,000 juvenile (4”-6”) redfish into the waters of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties.

 

“Duke Energy is committed to environmental stewardship,” said Eric Latimer, Duke Energy Florida Mariculture Center Manager.  “Fish mortalities associated with the current red tide bloom in southwest Florida have broad impacts, both to our state’s interconnected biological systems and to the people that make a living from and enjoy our natural resources.  We are proud to play a small part in the solution by restocking fish that will contribute to the overall restoration of the affected areas.”

 

"We appreciate the valuable support from CCA Florida and Duke Energy in helping enhance our world class redfish fishery," said Eric Sutton, FWC Executive Director.  "This team effort will benefit conservation, outdoor recreation and the state's economy in many ways."


In addition to the stocking enhancement initiative, CCA Florida and FWC are encouraging anglers to help all inshore populations by releasing their catch.  This summer, CCA Florida launched the “Release Them For Tomorrow” campaign as a way to support several species’ growth through catch and release. “It’s going to take everyone doing their part to get our fisheries back to health,” stated Gorski. Anglers are encouraged to share the message by tagging their social media photos, comments and messages with the hashtag #ReleaseThemForTomorrow to show their support.  Anglers can become engaged by joining CCA Florida at JoinCCA.org.  For more information, visit the Facebook page or ccaflorida.org.

Angling community applauds legislation to deflate algal blooms

HR 6645 would reauthorize programs to assess and control damaging hypoxia events

Recreational anglers are lending their support to a bill that proposes to advance the scientific understanding of harmful algal blooms and improve methods to detect, monitor and assess the damage associated with such events. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) has introduced HR 6645, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) of 2018, which would establish the Greater Everglades Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Assessment, and facilitate development of an action plan to address, mitigate and control future harmful blooms in this environmentally sensitive area. 

“What is happening off the coast of Florida this year can only be described as a tragedy and has been devastating to our marine ecosystem,” said Brian Gorski, executive director of CCA Florida. “CCA Florida is pleased to support this legislation from Rep. Mast because we need to use every available tool at our disposal to control and prevent these kinds of ecological disasters in the future if at all possible.”

No more than two years after passage, HR 6645 calls for an inter-agency task force to develop and submit to Congress a plan for reducing, mitigating and controlling harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in the Greater Everglades Region and provide biennial progress reports on all activities undertaken to achieve the objectives of the plan. The bill also increases the annual reauthorization of appropriation for the National Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Program to $22 million.

“The only shortcoming to any plan that makes more resources available todayto address this problem is that Congress and the state didn’t do it 20 years ago,” said Gorski. “The water situation in Florida is a catastrophe and it has made it crystal clear how closely tied our economy and quality of life is to our marine environment. We are grateful to Rep. Mast for his efforts to get a handle on Florida’s water quality issues and we urge Congress to pass this legislation as quickly as possible.”

 

The full letter is below. 

 

 

September 4, 2018

The Honorable Brian Mast
U.S. House of Representatives
2182 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative Mast:

On behalf of the millions of Americans who enjoy recreational fishing and boating and the tens of thousands of businesses they support, we are writing to express our strong support for H.R. 6645, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) of 2018.

Your legislation, as well as H.R. 4417, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2017, is critically important to advancing the scientific understanding and ability to detect, monitor, assess, and predict harmful algal blooms (HABs).As we’ve recently witnessed in South Florida, the Great Lakes and many other parts of the country, HABs have a severe impact on fish populations, fisheries habitats and even human health. Not only are entire ecosystems suffering as a result, but the economic losses continue to mount as local businesses that depend on access to healthy aquatic systems are negatively impacted as well.

Building upon action plans required in the previous reauthorization of HABHRCA, this bill recognizes the ongoing frequency and severity of HABs in South Florida by establishing the Greater Everglades Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Assessment and the subsequent development of an action plan to address, mitigate and control future HABs in this environmentally important area.

In addition to South Florida, these events gravely impact freshwater habitats in rivers and lakes throughout the country, especially in the Great Lakes region. Thus, we are pleased to see your bill reauthorize the National Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Program and the federal interagency working group, which would allow the group to continue building upon its success of developing and implementing action plans to address harmful algal blooms.

Once again, thank you for your efforts on this important issue, and we appreciate your continued leadership in support of clean water and healthy fisheries. We look forward to working with you to ensure H.R. 6645’s passage.

Sincerely,

American Sportfishing Association
Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S)

Boat U.S.
Center for Sportfishing Policy

Coastal Conservation Association
Coastal Conservation Association Florida

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Florida Guides Association
Future Angler Foundation
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
International Game Fish Association
Jersey Coast Anglers Association
Kenai River Sportfishing Association
Marine Retailers Association of the Americas
National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO) National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Professional Anglers Association
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association Recreational Fishing Alliance
Snook and Gamefish Foundation
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Wildlife Forever











U.S. House of Representatives Passes Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Bill

Landmark Fisheries Reform Takes Major Step Toward Becoming Law

Washington, D.C. – July 11, 2018 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 200, a bipartisan bill that includes the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act). This historic vote marks the first time the priorities of the recreational fishing sector are included in the reauthorization of our nation’s primary marine fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The provisions of the Modern Fish Act (H.R. 2023) were included in H.R. 200 by the House Committee on Natural Resources on December 13, 2017. H.R. 200 is sponsored by Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) and cosponsored by Reps. Garret Graves (R-La.); Brian Babin (R-Texas); Clay Higgins (R-La.); Gene Green (D-Texas); Robert Wittman (R-Va.); Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.); Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.); Steve King (R-Iowa); Marc Veasey (D-Texas); Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).

“Marine recreational fishing is not a partisan issue, which was illustrated by the support H.R. 200 received from both parties today in the House,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “We owe great thanks to Chairman Rob Bishop, Congressmen Don Young, Garret Graves, Gene Green and Marc Veasey for working together to properly recognize recreational fishing within the Magnuson-Stevens Act. These bipartisan leaders have made the difference for anglers from coast to coast.”

In 2014, the priorities of the recreational fishing and boating community were identified and presented to federal policy makers by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management in a report “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.” This group is also referred to as the Morris-Deal Commission, named for co-chairs Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boat Group. 

Many of the recommendations of the Morris-Deal Commission are addressed by the Modern Fish Act and included in H.R. 200. This legislation addresses many of the challenges faced by recreational anglers, including allowing alternative management tools for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.

“The recreational fishing industry is grateful that H.R. 200, which includes the provisions of the Modern Fish Act, has now passed the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “The Modern Fish Act represents the collective priorities of the recreational fishing community for improving federal marine fisheries management. There are 11 million saltwater anglers in the U.S. who have a $63 billion economic impact annually and generate 440,000 jobs. This legislation will help ensure that the economic, conservation and social values of saltwater recreational fishing will continue well into the future.”

“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing commonsense legislation modernizing the federal fisheries management system, which will provide America’s recreational anglers and boaters reasonable and responsible access to public marine resources,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The recreational boating industry calls on the U.S. Senate to pick up the baton, and immediately take up and pass S.1520, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act). Millions of Americans are counting on it.”

“We are grateful to our champions from both sides of the aisle in the House for recognizing the needs of recreational anglers and advancing this important fisheries management reform,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “This is truly a watershed moment for anglers in our never-ending quest to ensure the health and conservation of our marine resources and anglers’ access to them.”

“We thank the House Leadership, Congressman Young and the leaders of the House Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus for their leadership in finding bipartisan solutions to move the bill forward,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “The provisions of the Modern Fish Act contained in H.R. 200 are a top priority for saltwater anglers across the United States and charts a clear course for effective recreational fisheries management while ensuring abundant, sustainable fisheries for future generations.”

“We are on our way to pragmatic Magnuson-Stevens Act reform that will allow better access to rebuilt fish stocks while ensuring long-term sustainability,” said Jim Donofrio, president of the Recreational Fishing Alliance

“Passing these provisions of the Modern Fish Act means taking the next important step in recognizing the cultural value of recreational fishing and conservation contributions of American anglers,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We will continue to work with our sportfishing partners to engage with senators and see to it that the Modern Fish Act becomes law—it is critical if we hope to see saltwater anglers benefit from the advances in fisheries science, data collection, and management at the heart of this important legislation.”

Following today’s vote, the coalition encourages the Senate to quickly pass S. 1520. Marine recreational anglers and boaters are eager to see these landmark reforms signed into law.

-end-

150-Foot Steel Vessel Deployed in Volusia County

New Reef the Result of Several Partnerships

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida – (June 27, 2018) –On Saturday, June 23, 2018, the Lady Philomena, a 150-foot steel vessel was deployed in 80 feet of water at artificial reef site 12, roughly nine miles offshore the Ponce de Leon Inlet. 

This project was made possible through the funding partnerships of Volusia County, Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida) and CCA’s National Habitat Program, the Building Conservation Trust (BCT). BCT received a grant from the FishAmerica Foundation, the conservation funding arm of the American Sportfishing Association, and the Brunswick Public Foundation, which helped ensure the project’s success. 

“As the FishAmerica Foundation celebrates 35 years of teaming with local groups to enhance fisheries and water quality, there could be no better effort to exemplify the accomplishments that can be made than participating in the deployment of the Lady Philomena in conjunction with CCA Florida and BCT,” remarked Andrew Loftus, grant manager for the FishAmerica Foundation. “The benefits of this project to the environment, economy and sport fishing will grow each year as the reef ecosystem develops.”

“Meaningful partnerships are the reason we are able to do great marine habitat work in Florida and throughout the United States,” said John Carlson, chairman of the Building Conservation Trust. “The dedication of like-minded organizations demonstrates the power of coming together to benefit marine life and the local community.”

The 90-foot Tug Everglades was also placed alongside the Lady Philomena during last week’s deployment. The vessels are intact and upright on the seabed in very close proximity to one another and will make excellent fishing and diving sites.

The Lady Philomena was forfeited to the U.S. Customs in Miami, after having been seized with contraband. The vessel was deployed in an established artificial reef system consisting of clean concrete culverts, structures and large concrete bridge components. The deployment of the Lady Philomena will enhance this underwater community, attracting marine life such as fish, shrimp and crabs. Artificial reefs also boost local economies through an increase in sport fishing, tourism and patronage in small businesses. The Volusia County artificial reef system is visited by an estimated 50,000 vessels annually and experiences high visitation by recreational anglers and divers.

The reef started generating local excitement last fall, when Volusia County hosted a two-day viewing party that enabled visitors the opportunity to tour the ship. 

“The deployment of the Lady Philomena has been widely anticipated, and it is so gratifying to have seen the project’s completion, from start to finish,” said Brian Gorski, executive director of CCA Florida. “Projects like this really bring nearby residents together and educate the public of the value of marine habitat conservation. We are so grateful for our many strong partnerships, as well as the outpouring of support from the local community.”