Issues urgent fundraising plea to address COVID induced budget shortfall
BY BILL SHEDD
CCA CAL Chairman
2020 has been the most productive year yet for Coastal Conservation Association California. We achieved the greatest victory ever by the sportfishing community in the California legislature by preventing AB3030 from passing. Nobody thought we could accomplish that, but we did. We had a lot of help from many other fishing and boating organizations, but it was CCA California who led the effort.
AB3030 is part of a worldwide effort to protect 30% of all saltwater, freshwater and land to insure a healthy environment and biodiversity. Since anglers are the true conservationists, we agreed with many of the principles of AB3030. However, the way it was written made it look like MLPA 2.0 to us. If passed as written, it had the very real potential of doubling the amount of no fishing protected areas along the California coastline from 15% to 30% with no real science, valid justification, or definition to do so.
This battle is long from over. Shortly after its defeat in the legislature, Governor Newsom created an Executive Order to keep 30×30 alive. Even so, we have already changed the course of the 30×30 effort not just in California but nationally as well. Its 2020 legislative defeat here has changed the course of similar legislation being offered in Congress. That effort and others will now be less punitive towards saltwater anglers as they know they have an organized sportfishing community to deal with. The environmental community pushing 30×30 is not going away, so CCA CAL will be leading the effort in California against further unwarranted closures. We are committed to fight this battle for as long as it continues.
In 2020 we not only stopped bad legislation with AB3030, but also passed good legislation with AB1949, that allows the white seabass hatchery program to continue. We, along with our lobbyist, worked with the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP) Advisory Panel and CDFW to make available an additional $550,000 a year for five years to the hatchery program. In addition, in 2020 the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) was able to release hatchery halibut into Mission Bay raised from brood stock captured by CCA CAL volunteers. While halibut are still only at the experimental stages for a hatchery effort, we continue to encourage the CDFW to partner with us to make it a more formal part of OREHP.
Additionally, by working with partners in the sportfishing community and friends on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC), we helped ensure that sardines are still available to us as live bait. We were successful helping to push out a possible Chumash National Marine Sanctuary for at least five years.
Drift gillnets (DGN) are on their way out as buyouts are now taking place from past California legislation we helped to pass. By working with our friends at the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) we now have national legislation passed to ensure drift gill nets can’t worm their way back anywhere in the US, including California. That legislation has already passed the Senate and House and is heading to the President’s desk for signature. With the long-fought battle over drift gill nets over, we continue to work to prevent the development of a long-line fishery off our coast. We have been and continue to be working on many other issues. Of special note is CCA CAL’s work in making the 365 Day License a legislative priority for 2021.
As you can see, we are getting things done on behalf of saltwater anglers, the marine resource in California along with the entire fishing community. We can’t do it without your support. If every angler and everyone in the fishing tackle industry will support our efforts, there is no limit to how much we can accomplish.
I am asking for your immediate help. COVID prevented us from having our chapter fundraising dinners in 2020. As we looked toward 2021 we were staring at a shortfall of $120,000. We recently asked our board of directors and life members for their help and they really stepped up. Our deficit has been reduced to $50,000. We now have one of our life members willing to donate up to $25,000 to CCA CAL in matching funds. We desperately need to raise $25,000 right now to be able to maximize this generous offer. We need your help to reach our immediate goal and get the needed funding so we can continue to work to protect and enhance coastal resources and fishing opportunities for everyone. I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t critically important. We need your help and we need it right away.
There are several ways you can help: Join CCA California with a small annual membership fee of $35. Make a monthly pledge or one-time donation. Become a life member, where this elite group of anglers and industry leaders have recognized how vital CCA is with a $1,000 donation. We are a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization, so your donation may be tax deductible for 2020.
Joining CCA California and making donations is easy. Visit www.ccacalifornia.org and click on “How To Help” at the top of the page or mail a check to CCA CAL, 13015 Abing Ave., San Diego, CA 92129.
We are making steady progress but there is a lot of work to be done and we need your help. Please get involved by supporting Coastal Conservation Association today.
Thank you for your consideration and for supporting CCA CAL. Together, we have can have a bright fishing future.