coastal conservation association (CCA) florida history: a history of conservation
  • 2023

    CCA won law suit brought by the commercial reef fish industry that attempted to roll back an important precedent affecting fishery allocations.

    CCAFL is working on access issues regarding the Skyway fishing pier and pelican entanglements.

    CCAFL pushed for HB 1379 to create the IRL protection plan, which will begin to remove septic tanks and divert bad water from getting into the lagoon.

    CCAFL helped to pass the HJR 1157 the Right to Hunt and fish. This issue will now be on the 2024 ballot to be voted on to make it a constitutional right to hunt and fish.

    CCAFL along with other organizations defeated a push to close eleven artificial reefs to fishing due to goliath grouper spawning aggregations. There was not enough science to prove that removing fishing would have any effects on the stock.

    CCAFL was invited to be with Governor DeSantis to announce the 70-day Gulf Red Snapper season.

    CCA Florida and our National habitat program, the Building Conservation Trust, have contributed over $1.3 million since 2010 for habitat restoration projects around the state.  These funds have been leveraged with our partners to create over $9 million in habitat restoration projects in Florida.

    CCA Florida has 13 completed and ongoing habitat restoration projects in the first half of 2023, and an additional 14 upcoming habitat and artificial reef projects planned.

    CCA Florida recently partnered with the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission on an American eelgrass restoration project along the St. Lucie River. Approximately one half acre was planted by CCA staff and volunteers including 100 fence exclosures and 500 4” eelgrass pots.

    CCA Florida completed its third deployment on the Turtle Bay Oyster Reef project by installing an additional 22.5 tons of recycled oyster shell at the site. Since 2021, over 60 tons of CCA-recycled oyster shells have been deployed on the reef.

  • 2022

    CCA Florida worked with the FWC to open a highly regulated Goliath Grouper season.

    CCA Florida was invited to be with Governor DeSantis to announce the 57-day Gulf Red Snapper season.

    CCA Florida worked with the FWC to create stricter regulations in Atlantic State Waters for Mahi Mahi. We are both working towards tighter regulations in Federal waters.

    CCA Florida worked against the FWC proposal to increase the Redfish bag limit in the Big Bend to two fish and succeeded. We also helped to reduce the bag limit to one fish in the northeast and create a catch and release only in the IRL.

    CCA Florida intervened in a lawsuit initiated by the commercial fishing industry that is attempting to roll back an important precedent affecting fishery allocations.

    CCA Florida worked with FWC and the South Atlantic council to stop wide bottom closures off of Florida’s east coast.

    CCA Florida worked with other organizations to oppose the right whale slow speed zones.

    CCA Florida and the Duke Energy Mariculture Center have restocked 40,000 trout and 205,000 redfish to date.

    CCA Florida successfully completed 12 habitat projects in 2022 including oyster reef restoration projects, oyster restoration studies, living shorelines, artificial reef deployments, and clam restoration projects.

    CCA Florida and our National habitat program, the Building Conservation Trust, have contributed over $1.2 million since 2010 for habitat restoration projects around the state.  These funds have been leveraged with our partners to create over $9 million in habitat restoration projects in Florida.

    CCA Florida’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 100 tons of oyster shells have been collected by CCA volunteers and 60 tons have been returned to the water for restoration projects in Hernando, Manatee, Volusia, Brevard, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties.

    CCA Florida deployed 7 new artificial reefs in 2022 around the state of Florida while contributing over $140,000.

    CCA Florida conducted 6 coastal cleanups around the state in 2022, and to date has removed over 75 tons of trash and marine debris along the coast.

    CCA Florida and our partners at FWC, University of Florida and Blair Wiggins Outdoors have re-seeded over 1 million clams back into the Indian River Lagoon in 2022, and re-seeded a total of 15 million clams since 2018.

  • 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.

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