CCA honors memory of Walter Fondren III
CCA founder’s conservation legacy lives on at Fondren Conservation Headquarters
HOUSTON, TX – The Board of Directors of Coastal Conservation Association honored the conservation legacy of the organization’s founder during its recent meeting in Houston by dedicating CCA’s building the Walter W. Fondren III Conservation Headquarters. The building serves as headquarters for both the national organization and for CCA Texas.
“This building is the embodiment of Walter’s unwavering vision and drive for CCA,” said CCA Chairman Venable Proctor. “When you enter this building, you can feel Walter’s presence: his unflagging devotion to our marine resources, his faith in anglers as stewards of that resource, and his pride in CCA’s accomplishments. I think every angler who walks these hallways will always hear Walter’s voice and see his vision for our marine resources.”
Fondren was among concerned recreational anglers who grew alarmed at the overfishing of redfish and speckled trout populations in Texas in the late 1970s, and was instrumental in launching the Gulf Coast Conservation Association (GCCA) in 1977 to turn the tide. When the “Redfish Wars” finally ended in Texas, red drum and speckled trout had gained game fish status, gillnets and other destructive, indiscriminate fishing gear had been outlawed in state waters, and GCCA had earned a reputation for effective conservation. The organization expanded to chapters all along the Gulf Coast and when Atlantic chapters were admitted in the mid-1980s, the organization changed its name to Coastal Conservation Association. As chairman of CCA, Fondren helped guide the organization’s growth into a national presence with 17 state chapters and almost 100,000 members on all three coasts.
“We are sitting in the shade today because Walter planted a seed 33 years ago,” said Patrick Murray, president of CCA. “Among Walter’s many strengths was his commitment to bringing together a diverse group of individuals for a common cause, without a care for recognition as long as the job was done. It is a very fitting tribute that this building forever bears the name Walter W. Fondren III.”
CCA is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the nation. With almost 100,000 members in 17 state chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. For more information visit the CCA Newsroom at www.JoinCCA.org.
CONTACT: Ted Venker, 1-800-201-FISH