Members of the CCA Treasure Coast Chapter recently kicked off a yearlong habitat restoration project. Working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service the project is focused on Pelican Island in the Vero Beach area. The project includes the monitoring of water quality as well as growth of existing mangroves. In the later stages of the project there will be a large scale mangrove and sea grass planting. CCA Florida purchased a large amount of the tools required for this project, and the dollars spent went much farther thanks to the generosity of longtime CCA Sponsor, Crowder Bros Ace Hardware.
We are happy to be able to roll up our sleeves and do something to give back to the local community stated Rick Smith, CCA Treasure Coast Chapter President. Any time we can get involved in a local project we are happy to do it. For more information about this ongoing project or to get involved with the Treasure Coast chapter, please contact Rick Smith at (772) 532-0665
On Saturday, August 28th, despite a triple threat of tropical weather posed by systems stacked up off the coast of Florida, dozens of volunteers from around Central Florida turned out to participate in the CCA Mid Coast Crab Trap and Waterway Cleanup at Down the Hatch Seafood Restaurant in Ponce Inlet. The cleanup was made possible due to a grant from the Boat U.S. Foundation. In addition the event had the support of local sponsors Hells Bay Boatworks, Costa, Bass Pro Orlando, Halifax Wrecking and Demolition Company, CoastalAddiction.com, K&S Printing and Down the Hatch Seafood Restaurant.
The cleanup, led by CCA Mid Coast Cleanup Chairwoman Debbie McNerney, had a dual focus. First, with a permit from FWC the target was abandoned, ghost crab traps, and second any trash or debris fouling our waterways.
Events like these highlight the importance of removing ghost traps from our waters. These traps continue to catch and kill crabs and other marine life as long as they are in the water. This was evidenced by the many traps that were retrieved with dead crabs and other animals in them. Secondly, as anyone who has spent an hour or two unwinding yards of chicken wire out of their prop can tell you, these traps also pose a threat to navigation. Many of the traps recovered had no marker buoys attached and several had obviously been hit by a propeller.
In addition to the benefit of removing this trash from our waters, a research team from the University of Central Florida was on hand to collect data on invasive species attached to marine debris. The team, led by Dr. Linda Walters, was able to identify all three invasive species in their study. This data will extend their knowledge and understanding of these species and the threat they pose to native species.
At the end of the day, with the efforts of all of the volunteers, we were able to remove many abandoned traps from our waters, as well as a dumpster full of trash!
For more information about how you can organize a crab trap cleanup in your area please visit the FWC website or contact Dan Askin, CCA Florida General Manager, at 321-663-2588.
Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida) is a statewide, nonprofit marine conservation organization working in an advocacy role to protect the states marine resources and the interests of saltwater anglers. Comprised of 28 local chapters from Pensacola to the Keys, we support strong, resource based law enforcement, access to the resource for recreational fishing and strong and fairly balanced fishery regulations to protect state and federal fish stocks. CCA Florida is one of 17 state chapters of the Coastal Conservation Association.
Michael Benedict and Chris Petersonbring in the first trap of the day
Will Davids and Ted Wyka unloadsome more debris
Larry Poucher brings his boat in withanother load of trash
Whitney Coyle found a trap andwon the raffle prize that was donatedby Bass Pro Orlando
The assortment of trash found was unbelievable
Down the Hatch hosted the festivities
The team from Hells Bay Boatworkswas out in force
The research team from UCF spentsome time on the water as well
Will Davids models a cleanup t-shirt
Special thanks to the Boat U.S.Foundation for funding this event
The Orlando Chapter is proud to be involved with Oyster reef restoration in the Canaveral National Seashore. Designed and managed by UCF Professor Dr. Linda Walters, the project is making huge improvements in habitat restoration, water quality, and of course fish populations."This is a great way for members to get involved with a hands on, grass roots project and see results very quickly" Greg Harrison, the volunteer coordinator says.We have had business team building happy hours, sushi making parties, & church youth group get togethers to make oyster mats for oyster reef restoration in the Mosquito lagoon.If you are interested and have a group of 10 or more people over the age of 12, contact Greg Harrison. His email address is:
Location of Oyster Reefs Restored in Canaveral National SeashorePhase 1 (2007) and Phase 2 (2008 & 2009)CNS Oyster Restoration Sites
1st Annual Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Crab Trap Cleanup Saturday, August 15th CCA members from around Central Florida gathered at Haulover Canal, on the edge of Mosquito Lagoon, to participate in the First Annual Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Crab Trap Cleanup. Primarily focused on the Mosquito Lagoon area, the cleanup was made possible in part due to a recent change in the laws governing crab fishing. There are now rolling 10 day closures for crab fishing around the state. During these closures all legal, working traps must be removed from the waters of the specific region. This closure makes it much easier to set up events just like this, where any trap in the water is considered abandoned and subject to disposal. Working with officials from the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Capt. Chris Peterson, CCA life member and owner of Hells Bay Boatworks, both sponsored and spearheaded the cleanup with the help of many great volunteers and sponsors. CCA Florida would like to thank Capt. Chris and Wendi Peterson and the entire Hells Bay Boatworks team for their support of this project. We would also like to thank Stan Howarter and all of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge staff as well as the FWC and all of our sponsors; Hells Bay Boatworks, Mosquito Creek Outdoors, The Fly Fisherman, Coastal Angler Magazine, ESPN Outdoors, The National Wildlife Refuge Systems, United Waterfowlers of Florida, Merritt Island Wildlife Association, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. The importance of removing these ghost traps from our waters is twofold. First and foremost, these traps continue to catch and kill crabs and other marine life as long as they are in the water. This was evidenced by the many traps that were retrieved with dead crabs and other animals in them. Secondly, as anyone who has spent an hour or two unwinding yards of chicken wire out of their prop can tell you, these traps also pose a threat to navigation. Many of the traps recovered that day had no marker buoys attached and several had obviously been hit by an outboard motor. At the end of the day, with the efforts of all of the volunteers, we were able to remove 79 abandoned traps from our waters! For more information about the crab season closures and how you can organize a crab trap cleanup in your area please visit the FWC website Derelict Trap Retrieval and Debris Removal Program or contact Dan Askin, CCA Florida General Manager, at 321-663-2588
For more information on CCA Florida habitat restoration projects contact Brian Gorski, at 941-720-4446.