coastal conservation association (CCA) florida history: a history of conservation
  • 2021

    Coastal Conservation Association, ASA, International Gamefish Association, Bonefish Tarpon Trust, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and the Lower Keys Guide Association worked with the FWC to close Western Dry Rocks area to fishing during peak spawning activities of multiple snapper species and permit between April and July.

    CCA Florida along with many other concerned Floridians work to stop any oil drilling in the Bahamas.

    CCA Florida to date on the east coast have helped release over 1,000 redfish alive and over 300 redfish on the west coast that would have otherwise perished in an attempt to win a tournament. We have helped many tournaments change to weigh release tournaments. #releasethemfortomorrow

    CCA Florida worked with FWC on redtide fisheries closures in Tampa Bay.

    CCA Florida continues to be engaged in Florida’s water problems through Everglades restoration, Lake Okeechobee, Indian River lagoon, algae problems, septic to sewer, and a host of other issues effecting Florida’s water. 

    CCA Florida not only helped pass the net ban amendment in 1994, but nearly 30 years later, CCA Florida is still fighting in the courts to keep the ban intact.  

    CCA Florida worked with the FWC to sponsor the Redfish Summit and the Snook Symposium. These functions were held to gather more information about these fisheries around the State. 

    CCA Florida has been working with the FWC and SAMFC to enhance the Dolphin Fishery on the East Coast.

  • 2020

    CCA submitted comments to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary regarding their DEIS. CCA’s comments were centered around access for boaters and fisherman.

    CCA worked with FWC and others to keep closed zones out of Biscayne National park.

    CCA worked with FWC to create a statewide reef fish data collection survey. This survey helped to increase Red Snapper days in the Gulf.

    CCA worked with the Florida Legislature regarding the passing of the clean waterways act.

    CCA worked with the Florida Legislature to pass the CCA Florida license plate.

    CCA was instrumental in having the Secretary of the Interior visit Fantasy Island in Tampa to showcase the benefits of CCA’s habitat projects.

    CCA worked with Duke Energy and Port Tampa Bay to release 550 juvenile redfish off Davis Island in Tampa. The Mariculture Center’s hatchery has cultivated and released more than 4.1 million fish, establishing it as the most successful marine-stocking program in Florida.

    CCA worked with the FWC to better manage the Flounder fishery which has been in decline in the Gulf and the South Atlantic.

  • 2019

    CCA continues to work with the St. Johns Riverkeeper in an effort to stop the use of biosolids and help monitor algae blooms. CCA is working with the Apalachicola Riverkeeper on their lawsuit against the Army Corp of Engineers to bring more water to the Apalachicola River. CCA has been participating in all Blue Green Algae Task Force meetings and we continue to monitor algae outbreaks throughout the State. CCA continues to monitor Lake Okeechobee water levels and the implementation of projects within Everglades under CERP and CEPP. CCA worked with Brevard County to create habitat projects and water restoration projects where the half cent sales tax money could be used to help the Indian River Lagoon. CCA worked closely with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in release of their draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) that will regulate the marine waters of the Florida Keys for years to come. CCA worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Biscayne National Park to create an open access fisheries management plan. CCA partnered with FWC and Duke Energy to help with the revitalization of snook and redfish in areas affected by redtide. CCA is working with other organizations to keep combat the industrial harvest of menhaden. We are concern that menhaden management fails to account for the critical ecological role that menhaden play in the coastal ecosystem and their impacts to sportfish in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. CCA was invited to participate during President Trump’s remarks on America’s environmental leadership and the importance of good stewardship of our nation’s bountiful natural resources. CCA was chosen as a conservation partner in the launch of Anglers for the Bahamas in conjunction with Bass Pro Shops and Governor DeSantis. CCA has attended and testified at all Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meetings as well as many City and County commission meetings throughout the state.

  • 2018

    CCA FL worked with the FWC regarding State Management for Red Snapper and a State exempted fishing permit. This permit ensured maximum angler access for the Gulf Red Snapper anglers. CCA worked with the FWC and the SAFMC to help create a Red Snapper season in the South Atlantic. 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 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 worked with the Center for Sportfish Policy and passed the Modern Fish Act. CCA donated $5,000 for 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. CCA partnered with Swamp Head Brewery last year to create the Trash Tour.  With 8 stops completed around the state during the last 2 years, over 300 volunteers have already participated in cleaning up more than 5 tons of trash from our local coastal waterways. CCA partnered with the John Michael Baker Foundation to create two new artificial reefs in 2018 off the coastline of Broward County in memorial of John Michael Baker, a member, avid diver and angler who passed away in a tragic boating accident in 2015.  The initial deployment on August 7, 2018 consisted of 665 tons of concrete materials donated by St. Lucie County.  This deeper reef was deployed in approximately 160 feet of water and serves as an artificial reef for fishermen.  On August 14, 2018, the second part of the reef project was deployed with the memorial structures in 70 feet of water.  This shallower deployment serves asan underwater park for scuba divers and features a memorial structure with a plaque for John Michael Baker. CCA’s growing oyster recycling program now has several restaurants currently donating their oyster shells to the tune of over 1 ton of oysters per week.  To date, over 50 tons of oyster shells have been collected by CCA volunteers, and 15 tons have been returned to the water for restoration projects in Hernando County, Manatee County and Collier County. CCA FL partnered with the University of Central Florida and the Marine Discovery Center on a grant titled: Living Shoreline and Oyster Reef Restoration in Mosquito Lagoon: Continuation of Successful Models and Successful Partnerships.  The grant funds are being used in 2018 to continue their highly successful oyster reef restoration and living shoreline stabilization in Mosquito Lagoon. CCA contributed $25,000 towards the Lady Philomena/Tugboat Everglades Reef in Volusia County.  On Saturday, June 23, 2018 the 150′ M/V Lady Philomena and the 90′ Tug Everglades were successfully deployed to the seafloor at Volusia County Artificial Reef Site 12. CCA FL has been working with the University of Florida (UF) on the deployment of a new oyster reef in Hernando County.  CCA FL donated and delivered 5 tons of oyster shell to Hernando County from our recycling program in Lake County.  The shells from our donation were then bagged on February 15th, 2018 in a special event by all CCA volunteers!  Our oyster bags were combined with others and 2,400 bags were deployed on April 14thin the Gulf of Mexico to form the base of an oyster reef at a permitted site in Centipede Bay. CCA FL donated $25,000, in addition to a $57,000 in-kind match, to study the declining spotted seatrout in the IRL.  The studies broad objective is to determine spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, population spawning status and vulnerability to human and natural disturbance in the Indian River Lagoon.  Acoustic transects are being conducted by anglers using underwater microphones (hydrophones) as trout choral displays only occur when they are spawning.  Anglers are recording sounds at channel markers on Spring tides over a six-month period at three Lagoon regions in Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin Counties. Phase I of the project successfully kicked off in April 2018 and concluded in September 2018 at the close of the spawning season. CCA donated $6,625 to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to fund Phase 1 of this new living shoreline stabilization project.  Phase 1 was successfully completed on March 24, 2018 by UCF and CCA volunteers. The objective is to implement living shoreline techniques, using planted mangroves, smooth cordgrass, and oyster shell as recruitment substrate, to restore an eroded area along the shoreline of Tomoka State Park. CCA contributed $10,000 and partnered with Lee County and FWC to help enhance and restore 9 oyster reefs through the addition of large washed fossil shell and oyster shell.  The restoration areas range from 0.14 acres to 0.96 acres in size. The restored oyster site in San Carlos Bay will be compared to control and natural reference sites to allow testing of goal-based hypotheses using a BACI (Before-After-Control-Impact) design. CCA partnered with Ocean Aid 360, Inc. and were awarded a NOAA Marine Debris Cleanup grant in July 2018. The project is titled, “Ghost Trap Rodeo: Diverse groups affecting long-term habitat improvement through removal of marine debris in the form of Tampa Bay’s derelict traps & fishing gear.”  The $178,805 grant ($89,295 cash award and $89,510 in-kind match) proposal’s purpose is to effect long-term quantifiable ecological habitat improvements for NOAA Trust Resources, through on the ground removal of marine debris – specifically, derelict crab traps and fishing gear – in nearshore benthic waters of Florida’s Tampa Bay estuary. CCA, in a collaborative effort with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the St. Johns River Water Management District, was recently awarded funding by the IRL National Estuary Program for the “Pilot-Scale Demonstration of Seagrass Restoration in the Indian River Lagoon Using Nursery-Grown Halodule wrightii” project. The goal of this project is to use seagrass nursery technology to provide donor material for a pilot-scale seagrass restoration effort in the Indian River Lagoon. The grant award was in the amount of $80,283, plus a $109,040 cost share match, for a total project cost of $189,323. CCA donated $10,000 to help fund the deployment of the Brause Girls Tugboat Reef off the coast of Martin County.  This project was a partnership between CCA, MCAC Artificial Reef Fund, Inc., and SHIP, Inc.   The 100’ tugboat was successfully deployed on August 24th, 2018, 7.6 miles east of the St Lucie Inlet in about 180 feet of water. CCA donated $25,000 to Manatee County to help fund the second artificial reef deployment on the Larry Borden Reef. This donation was combined with a $60,000 FWC artificial reef grant that the county was previously awarded.  On July 27, 2018, 575 tons of large limestone boulders were deployed at a single location within this permitted reef site.  These natural boulders were between 4-6 feet in size and have created a new, highly productive fishing and diving reef 7 miles west of the Longboat Pass Bridge. CCA partnered with Shell Oil Company and deployed approximately 1,500 tons of natural rock and concrete materials on the new Starship Reef off the coast of Jacksonville in 2018.  The Starship Reef, now one of the largest reefs in northeast Florida, is located in 70 feet of water and 12 miles east of Mickler’s Beach. Shell Oil provided the funding of this almost $200,000 project, and donated 40,000 pounds of natural rock which was hauled from San Diego to Jacksonville this past June in their new Starship concept truck. CCA partnered with Lee County on a new artificial reef 12 miles offshore of Boca Grande Pass.  The deployment was successfully completed on November 30, 2018, in approximately 50-feet of water on the Phoenix Reef and consisted of approximately 150 tons of high-quality concrete materials including box culverts and other concrete forms donated by Coastal Precast. The total price tag for this deployment was only $20,000, with all the funds being raised locally by the Charlotte Chapter.

  • 2017

    CCA partnered with Swamp Head Brewery to create the 2017 Trash Tour.  With 4 stops completed around the state, over 150 volunteers participated in cleaning up more than 3 tons of trash from our local coastal waterways. CCA Florida entered into an agreement with Lake County to use a portion of their landfill to store and dry out donated oyster shells for deployments around the state.  The Clermont Oyster Bar was the initial donor and currently donates over 1,000 pounds of oyster shells per week.  The CCA oyster recycling program, run by CCA volunteers, has collected over 20 tons of oyster shells in 2017 to be used for future habitat restoration projects. CCA Florida applied and won a grant titled: Living Shoreline and Oyster Reef Restoration in Mosquito Lagoon: Continuation of Successful Models and Successful Partnerships.  The grant was awarded in June 2017 in the amount of $82,770 to continue with their highly successful oyster reef restoration and living shoreline stabilization in Mosquito Lagoon. CCA partnered with Lee County and donated $10,000 to enhance living oyster reefs in San Carlos Bay in Punta Rassa.  The Punta Rassa oyster restoration project will enhance 0.13 acres of oyster reefs and is one of 8 sites approved for this project that will restore a total of nearly 4 acres of oyster habitat in this area. CCA donated $2,000 to the Brevard County Reef Re-nourishment project. The funding went towards the deployment of 20 pyramid reef structures over the summer. CCA FL also contributed an additional $1,000 to Brevard County for monitoring and invasive species removal on this artificial reef site. CCA donated and delivered 5 tons of oyster shells to the De Soto National Memorial Living Shoreline in Bradenton in August 2017. This restoration event, spearheaded by the University of Central Florida, was designed to protect the eroding shoreline and Native American shell middens in the Park. CCA is working with the University of Florida (UF) ontheir newly constructed UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station (Station), assisting with grants, funding, and the final build-out of their 3-story research and science facility.  CCA is also on the Advisory Council for the Station. CCA was awarded approximately $100,000 in grant funding for habitat restoration projects around the state in 2017. CCA assisted the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission with an important oyster mat pilot project in Pebble Bay, Vero Beach, Florida.    This Netherlands-based design is made from starch derived from potato waste and consists entirely of biopolymers.  CCA members installed these biodegradable mats on docks in the Indian River Lagoon in the Vero Beach area. CCA worked with Congress to help develop the Modern Fish Act. The “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” (Modern Fish Act) would improve public access to America’s federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth CCA worked to stop an exempted fishing permit that would initiate a commercial privatization program for at least six species of fish. The Florida Legislature prioritized Everglades restoration efforts during its 2017 session, which the CCA water Subcommittee monitored on a daily basis and worked to inform our members regarding the bill. CCA also held several one-on-one meetings with certain Florida legislative leaders and elected officials about this proposal. Specifically, the Legislature passed, and Governor Rick Scott signed into law, a bill authorizing a larger water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. CCA fought against the 3 day Gulf red snapper season and is working on other long term solutions to fix the mismanaged Gulf fishery. One of our highest priority is the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. CCA is working on implementing barotrauma devices and working to reduce dead discards. CCA is in favor of a red snapper fishery on the east coast. CCA with the help of other organizations including the Billfish Foundation stopped the Pelagic Longline Exempted Fishing Permit that was issued for the closed conservation one off the East Coast of Florida.

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