What is CCA?
Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is a non-profit organization comprised of 17 coastal state chapters spanning the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. CCA’s strength is drawn from the tens of thousands of recreational saltwater anglers who make up its membership. From Puget Sound to South Texas to the upper reaches of Maine, CCA’s grassroots influence is felt through state capitals, U.S. Congress and, most importantly, in the conservation and restoration of our coastal marine resources.
CCA began in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. Fourteen concerned recreational anglers created the Gulf Coast Conservation Association to combat commercial fishing excesses and conserve the resource.
That spirit of conservation and stewardship started with CCA’s “Save the Redfish” campaign and soon swept across the entire Gulf Coast. By 1985, Gulf-state chapters had formed from Texas to Florida. By decade’s end, state chapters were founded through the mid-Atlantic region, and by the early `90s, development of the New England state chapters was completed. In 2007, CCA opened chapters in Washington and Oregon, and today stands as a united Coastal Conservation Association with a presence on all three coasts.
Active in virtually every national fisheries debate since 1984, CCA has participated productively in state and federal fisheries management issues for longer than two decades. CCA continues to operate as a three-tiered organization, affecting issues on the local, state and national levels.
Its unmatched breadth and depth of volunteer involvement has made CCA the largest marine conservation group of its kind.
A grassroots network and a unique combination of membership, fundraising and advocacy have enabled CCA to enact positive change on all levels of coastal marine conservation and management. When called into action, the impact of CCA’s grassroots machine is unparalleled.
The CCA Advocacy Fund has been used to defend net bans and the implementation of bycatch reduction devices, and to support pro-fisheries legislation and battle arbitrary no-fishing zones. CCA’s presence in the federal court system has been critical in conserving America’s fisheries.
CCA and its state-chapter network are engaged in hundreds of local, state and national programs and projects related to marine conservation, including initiating scientific studies, funding marine-science scholarships, building artificial reefs, creating finfish hatcheries, initiating hydrologic and contaminant studies, monitoring the quality and quantity of freshwater inflows, supporting local marine law enforcement and more.
Through broad-based recreational angler support, a strong legal and legislative presence, more than 25 years of experience and an unwavering vision for the future of U.S. and global marine resources, CCA will continue to battle for the health and longevity of our coastal fisheries and for recreational anglers’ interests in them.