What is CCA?
The Coastal Conservation Association was created in 1977, after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast had decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. A group of 14 concerned anglers gathered in a local tackle shop to create the Gulf Coast Conservation Association to turn the tide for conservation. Only 4 years later, gill nets along the Texas Coast were outlawed and both red drum and speckled trout were declared game fish.
The successful conservation movement that started with the Save The Redfish campaign got the attention of anglers across the Gulf and by 1985, chapters had formed all along the Gulf Coast. By the early ‘90s, the South and Mid-Atlantic regions had CCA chapters and in 2007, Washington and Oregon chapters formed in the Pacific Northwest.
In 2015, the CCA California chapter was created. The creation of the CCA California is an exciting endeavor for CCA. The fish are different, but the challenges facing them are often the same on all coasts: destructive commercial gear, degraded habitat, and misguided management concepts. The all-volunteer CCA CAL state board of directors is packed with fishing industry icons representing companies like AFTCO, Shimano, Okuma, The Fred Hall Shows, BD Outdoors, Let’s Talk Hook Up, Dana Wharf Sportfishing, Dana Landing, Izorline, and IFGA to name a few.
What will CCA do for me?
At CCA California, we are the advocates for all saltwater anglers in the State of California. We are fighting for your right to fish in the Golden State, and are looking out for your angling interests. With CCA, we now have representation in both Sacramento and in Washington, DC with full-time lobbyists working for you as saltwater anglers. As a member-driven organization, CCA is unique in that its board and committee structure relies exclusively on its members to set the policy goals for their state chapter and to determine the strategies employed to fund and achieve those goals. Nationally, CCA chapters have poured millions of dollars into local habitat projects – everything from abandoned crab trap clean-ups to marsh restoration to the creation of inshore and offshore artificial reefs. On a federal level, CCA’s Advocacy Fund has been used to defend net bans; fight for the implementation of bycatch reduction devices; support pro-fisheries legislation; and battle arbitrary no-fishing zones.
Where do my membership fees go?
With CCA CAL being under the umbrella of our national organization, nearly all membership fees go to our national organization. However, all of the money that is raised in California, stays in California for funding local projects, putting on tournaments, and supporting staff members.
What happened to United Anglers?
What happened to UASC is that it was forced to take on the impossible task of the So. Cal MLPA and ran into an insurmountable challenge with the environmental community. UASC did the right thing and stood up for the sportfishing community and put their name at the top of the lawsuit to try and overturn the MPAs. The cost of the suit was double what the attorneys originally said it would cost and while UASC and its partners raised enough money to pay for the expected cost, they could not find the funds to pay the added amount and ran out of money.
Adding to the downfall was the fact that the last two executive directors caused very different but serious problems for the organization. The final overriding reason is that UASC simply ran out of energy and momentum as NCMC-PR did before them and as did another group before them.
What is the difference between CCA and United Anglers?
CCA is a national grassroots organization and is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the country with 17 coastal state chapters and more than 110,000 members. CCA provides its members with opportunities to participate in many phases of fisheries conservation and management. Our business model is designed to let state members set their state’s conservation agenda and address issues that are of great importance to coastal resources. Through the local banquet fundraising process, CCA members fuel their conservation program, ultimately improving the condition of local marine resources and expanding fishing opportunities in their state. Each CCA state chapter has significant autonomy on advocacy issues and relies on its volunteers to make the process work. It is a founding principle of CCA to seek grassroots involvement in the decision-making process. By the time CCA stakes a position on an issue, it has been thoroughly reviewed and researched by dozens of recreational anglers all intent upon achieving the same goal.
The CCA California Chapter has a state board, compiled with industry executives, chapter presidents, and local fisherman that work with an executive director and assistant director to guide the state chapter’s operations and advocacy agenda.
Why will CCA work?
CCA has been around since 1977 and has developed a set of business operating policies and principles that has guided the organization from 14 members to more than 140,000 today. CCA has combined the power of its membership to employ staff dedicated exclusively to its business functions as well as its advocacy and habitat programs. Under this model, staff report back to volunteer committees on fishery issues, as well as business functions, such as our annual audit and insurance requirements.
A strong business foundation guarantees that CCA has the resources and staying power to carry out its mission. Bringing together diverse perspectives, merging resources and focusing steady pressure on regulatory agencies at all levels of government ultimately achieves results. That is the CCA way, and the conservation results speak for themselves.
What kind of projects or advocacy has CCA CAL been involved with?
Since 2015, CCA California has hit the ground running in terms of advocacy and have been able to notch a few victories along the way. A few of our most recent victories include fighting against fishing tackle and lead bans; keeping bluefin tuna from becoming listed as an endangered species; and we continue to fight against destructive fishing gear that hurt our resources.
As a part of our goals, we continue to support and help expand finfish hatchery programs. We work with Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute on the White Sea Bass Hatchery Program, and help them with broodstock collection, hatchery fish releases, and also provide the insurance for each of the hatchery grow out pens up and down the coast.
And we are also continuing to work with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife on creating thriving artificial and restoration reefs.
How can I get involved with CCA?
We are always looking for volunteers and board members to join our local chapter boards. We currently only have chapters all over Southern California, and each one is responsible for putting on events, tournaments and fundraisers throughout the year. Make sure to contact us to find out where your local chapter is located. Each chapter sets their own meetings and are listed on our calendar.