Mapping a Road to Recovery
Habitat restoration focus of CCA presentation to Senate Democrats
WASHINGTON DC – Key conservation leaders from groups including Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, The Isaac Walton League and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and other members of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee this week to discuss critical conservation issues facing recreational anglers and hunters.
The meeting addressed important topics such as Gulf oil crisis relief for recreational fishing industries, access issues and need for proper conservation of natural resources. CCA President Patrick D. Murray took the opportunity to express concern over the short and long-term conservation needs of coastal resources in light of the oil spill.
"Recreational anglers and the businesses they support along the Gulf are struggling," Murray told the gathering. "The immediate need to help these businesses must be combined with a long-term vision for restoring the resources that support recreational angling. Planning should begin now to rebuild the marine environment of the Gulf Coast through massive habitat programs, construction of hatcheries and development of marine research centers."
In previous meetings with Administration officials and with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), as well as in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, CCA has encouraged federal lawmakers to make preparations now for when efforts shift from cleaning up the oil to the enduring task of repairing the damage.
"CCA has run successful marine habitat enhancement programs throughout its 30-plus-year history, and we have tens of thousands of members who were on the Gulf Coast before the oil spill and will be here long after the cameras and microphones are gone,” said Murray. “However, with the scale of the challenge now before us, we need lawmakers to commit to rebuilding the marsh, the reefs and the fish stocks. That will define long-term success."
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. Visit www.JoinCCA.org for more information.
CONTACT: Ted Venker, 1-800-201-FISH