Home
CCA-t-shirt button

Donate to CCA Florida

Click Here to Make a Donation

Join CCA Banner

alt

      
   ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR ACCESS TO FLORIDA BAY!

 
Everglades National Park has published its Preferred Alternative for the Park’s General Management Plan; a plan which is intended to govern the park for the next 20 years. The preferred Alternative substantially restricts your access to Florida Bay. The Preferred Alternative establishes large Pole and Troll Zones (PTZs) for 1/3 of Florida Bay, the PTZs lack access corridors and when combined with the Plan’s reduction of access channels access Florida Bay will eliminate reasonable access to these flats!
 
Tell the Park’s planners:

 

  1. that you oppose these large PTZs and if implemented they need adequate access      corridors;
  2. that the park must mark and maintain traditional channels to allow access to Florida Bay;
  3. that you support CCA Florida’s recommendation which includes incremental      establishment of any PTZ, the development of reasonable access through corridors into any PTZ, the marking of the historically used channels across Florida Bay and an accessible educational program for the Park’s users;
  4. that the Park must establish a user advisory panel to assist with the development of the PTZ, access into the PTZs and marking of channels.


Please click here to let the Park know you support CCA’s recommendation. The comment period closes May 11, so take a minute now to protect angling access to this great park and its fishery.

 

   
       

alt
  Letter to Congressional leadership calls for state-based   management of troubled species

 

HOUSTON   (4-17-13) – The governors of four Gulf states released a JOINT LETTER to the leadership of the U.S. House and   Senate today that states current federal management of Gulf red snapper is   evidence of a system that is “irretrievably broken,” and calls for passage of   legislation that would replace it with a coordinated Gulf states partnership   for red snapper management.
 
   

“The Gulf of Mexico red   snapper fishery has a historic and significant economic benefit to the Gulf   coastal states and the nation.  However, federal management conflicts   impacting both the commercial and recreational sectors have created a   situation that is negatively impacting the coastal economies and citizens of   our states,” states the letter signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov.   Rick Perry of Texas, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Phil Bryant of   Mississippi. “With a stock that is recovering steadily, our recreational   anglers are being allowed to fish less and less, and there is no hint of   willingness from NOAA Fisheries to deviate from this present, unsatisfactory   course. As governors of Gulf states, we believe this confusing management is   just the latest evidence of a federal management system that is irretrievably   broken.”
 
                                                                          

The governors’ letter calls   on Congress to establish a better fishery management approach for Gulf red   snapper based on interstate management measures   coordinated by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, citing their   belief that a coordinated   Gulf states partnership would be more capable of delivering a robust fishery   that is more accessible for their citizens.
 
   

“By encouraging Congress to   allow the states to effectively manage red snapper and pass legislation to   give the Gulf coastal States management authority for this resource, the   governors clearly share our desire for a new vision in fisheries management,”   said Venable Proctor, chairman of CCA National. “The federal system has had   decades to get this fishery on track, and yet it still insists on a path that   leads inevitably to a dead-end. We are grateful to the governors for   promoting a viable alternative for fisheries management, and we look forward   to working with Congress to see that this sensible management model becomes   law.”
 
   

Federal   management of red snapper reached a new low in 2013 when the Gulf of Mexico   Fishery Management Council announced a 27-day season, even though the snapper   population appears to be booming. In response, Louisiana, Florida and   Mississippi have announced various actions to join Texas’ long-standing   rejection of federal regulations in state waters, prompting federal   authorities to prepare punitive measures for those states. According to   current projections, Texas recreational anglers would have a 12-day snapper   season in federal waters, Louisiana anglers would have nine days and Florida   anglers 21 days.
 
  Click HERE to see Louisiana Governor Bobby   Jindal's statement.


  alt
   


You have received this message because you have subscribed to   a mailing list of Coastal Conservation Association. If you do not wish to   receive periodic emails from this source, please click below to unsubscribe.

           csc            

CSF Hosts Breakfast Briefing on Saltwater Fisheries Management

April 24, 2013 (Washington, DC) – This morning, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) was joined by nine members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) and representatives of the recreational fishing community at a breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill. The briefing addressed the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and highlighted the necessity for enhanced considerations of the value of the marine recreational fishery. The briefing concluded with a specific focus on the current dilemma that recreational anglers are encountering with red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

An array of speakers, including members of the CSC and leaders of the recreational fishing community, highlighted issues related to MSA and laid out a course of action for the reauthorization of the MSA in the 113th Congress.

Chris Horton, CSF’s Midwest Regional Director, opened the briefing by introducing Jeff Angers, member of the CSF Board of Directors and President of the Center for Coastal Conservation. Angers noted, “MSA is the overarching federal law governing marine fisheries. As the MSA expires this year, the recreational fishing community notes with clarity that it's time for Congress to focus on an MSA reauthorization that properly addresses management of the marine recreational fishery.”

As an avid fisherman, CSC Co-Chair Representative Bennie Thompson (Miss.) asked the audience and fellow members of the CSC to come together for the resource. “We need your help, and I ask you as a member of the CSC and as a fisherman to set good public policy. This is an opportunity to do so.” Representative Bob Latta (Ohio), a fellow CSC Co-Chair echoed Representative Thompson’s call to action for responsible legislation.“It takes everyone in this room to get this bill across. I appreciate your support in the reauthorization and educating not only fellow members of the CSC, but other members of Congress on this topic.”

Representative Rob Wittman (Va.) spoke in detail on MSA and the need for science-based state and federal management of the nation’s fisheries. “If you manage with the best science and most recent information, what you find is that the user of the resources becomes your best advocate based on the most current findings. Intuitively, it is hard for the fisherman to see how the MSA is working. Decision-makers need to understand the resources and what is at stake in order to better conserve resources such as our nation’s fisheries,” Representative Wittman stated.

Matt Paxton of the Coastal Conservation Association spoke to the group on recreational angling needs in the upcoming MSA reauthorization and specifically the failure of the current management with Gulf red snapper. "This red snapper mess is unacceptable and an unintended consequence of the last reauthorization; it is something that should be rectified."

CCA's Dick Brame spoke to the successes of state-based striped bass management along the Atlantic Coast and how it can serve as a potential model for red snapper management in the Gulf. "There are successful recreational management programs already in place," said Dick Brame. "Why reinvent the wheel? The interstate cooperation in the Atlantic States is not perfect but it provides a smart, workable model."

As the primary statute governing fishing activities in federal waters, MSA expires at the end of fiscal year 2013. Several provisions in the last reauthorization of MSA in 2006 are beyond the capabilities of the National Marine Fisheries Service to adequately implement. The result has been a confusing series of non-science-based restrictions on America’s recreational anglers that have greatly eroded trust in the federal management system and significantly reduced recreational fishing opportunities.

The most glaring examples can be found in the South Atlantic black sea bass fishery and in the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery, both of which are enduring extremely short seasons and strict regulations despite strong population recoveries.

In the Gulf, NOAA Fisheries declared that in 2013 recreational anglers in Texas will have a 12-day red snapper season in federal waters; 9 days in Louisiana; 28 days in Mississippi and Alabama, and 21 days in Florida. With a stock that is recovering steadily, recreational anglers are being allowed to fish less and less, and there is no hint of willingness from NMFS to deviate from this present, unsatisfactory course.

The governors of four Gulf States released a joint letter to Congressional leaders that states current federal management of Gulf red snapper is evidence of a system that is “irretrievably broken,” and calls for passage of legislation that would replace it with a coordinated Gulf states partnership for red snapper management.

The breakfast briefing was co-hosted by the American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, the Center for Coastal Conservation, the International Game Fish Association, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

 

Governors of four of the five Gulf states are calling on Congress to allow their states to take control over management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read More

CCA FLORIDA OPPOSES PLACEMENT OF SPACE LAUNCH FACILITY IN
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ADJACENT TO MOSQUITO LAGOON AND
OFFERS ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS


Shiloh is no place for a launch complex


Space Florida is a public body created by the State of Florida to foster the “growth and development of a sustainable and world–leading space industry in Florida." Given Florida’s long history of hosting our nation’s space flights, the existing facilities and talent along our Space Coast and the major employment losses suffered there with the reduction of federal funding of our nation’s space program, the creation and functions of “Florida’s aerospace economic development agency” are surely worthwhile. CCA Florida applauds the effort to bring commercial space industry to our state for all of the economic benefits it will surely bestow. Likewise, it seems prudent to focus on the area surrounding NASA’s facilities already in existence and the wealth of local talent that exist there.


Space Florida recently sent a request to the U.S. Department of Transportation and NASA for the conveyance of 150 acres of land for use by Space Florida as a public airport/spaceport. The subject lands are located in an area that was known, before the Federal government acquired for the space program, as the community of Shiloh. Space Florida subsequently issued a “Request for Information for the Proposed Shiloh Launch Complex," in which it states that it is “proposing the establishment of a commercially developed, commercially operated launch complex."


Shiloh lies in a narrow strip of land between the banks of the northern end of the Indian River Lagoon to the west, and the banks of the Mosquito Lagoon to the east, which is within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and across Mosquito Lagoon from Canaveral National Seashore, generally at the northern end of the Kennedy Space Center. In its request to the U.S. DOT and NASA, Space Florida stated that the 150 Shiloh acres are “surplus” and “excess to the needs of the U.S. Government” and “are not otherwise needed for public use." The fact that the Shiloh lies within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was not mentioned.


Nor was the fact that the area encompassing Mosquito Lagoon, the northern reaches of the Indian River Lagoon, the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge are essentially the most pristine lands and waters left along Florida’s east coast. The area is also essential habitat for many birds and aquatic animals, some of which are endangered or federally protected. A large number of anglers, hunters, bird watchers, manatee watchers, paddlers and other wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts consider the area a primo destination for their avocations. The economic benefit from those enthusiasts to the State of Florida and those who live in the vicinity is immense, which is to say nothing of the tremendous recreational benefits conferred upon those enthusiasts by experiencing the area in what is largely its natural condition. Indeed, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was designated in 1963 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for use “as an inviolate sanctuary…for migratory birds."


Meanwhile, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) sits nearby, the fate of much of its facilities unknown. Several capable launch facilities already exist there and are now sitting idle. In fact, one was used by a potential beneficiary of the proposed Shiloh site, Space X, which recently launched a rocket and spacecraft from KSC. NASA began exploring ways to increase future commercial use of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC well before the end of the Shuttle Program, and a Final Environmental Assessment was issued in 2007 that addresses expansion of those existing facilities.


Unfortunately, this is not the first time this area has been proposed for a new launch site. In 2008, NASA itself proposed 2 alternative new launch sites very near Shiloh. At the time, Coastal Conservation Association Florida and other groups protested loudly, imploring NASA to find a way to use the facilities at KSC rather than imposing the enormously adverse environmental impacts a new launch facility would create. That proposal by NASA did not proceed, nor should this one.


The development of the Shiloh site will surely involve a very time-consuming process, including the preparation and approval of an environmental impact statement required under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as a number of other permits. The ultimate issuance of such permits would seem questionable in light of the tremendous impact the proposed launch complex would have – construction and post-development traffic and their attendant noise, smoke, heat and noise from the launches, and storm water runoff, among them. What of access by the public to nearby lands and waters - including the Intracoastal Waterway? This heavily travelled waterway would likely be closed before, during and after launches. Such impacts and the aesthetic degradation may well lead to declining visits by the anglers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts, which could then result in the loss of existing jobs. Why not avoid all of this and find a way to use the existing facilities at KSC?


CCA Florida has questions to ask of Space Florida and NASA, but in sum, we need to know why the existing, mostly idle facilities at KSC cannot be used to develop the same commercial launch facility that is being proposed for Shiloh?


For additional information please contact Ted Forsgren at 407-702-3567 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCA FLORIDA NEEDS YOUR HELP TO PREVENT SEVERE UNWARRANTED ACCESS RESTRICTIONS IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

CCA Florida would like to remind you that the Everglades National Park will be holding public hearings in your area next week. You will find the hearing schedule below. For more information and an address to send your comments please click here.

Dania Beach

April 8th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

International Game Fish Association (IGFA)
300 Gulfstream Way
Dania Beach, FL

Naples

April 9th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Edison State College
Collier Campus - Building J
7007 Lely Cultural Parkway
Naples, FL

Key Largo

April 10th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Murray Nelson Government Center
102050 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL

Miami

April 11th

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Florida International University
Stadium Club
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL


CCA TALKING POINTS  ON EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

PROPOSED DRAFT GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN

  • CCA Florida has reviewed the Proposed Draft General Management Plan Alternatives (GMP) issued by Everglades National Park and finds thePreferred Alternative Unacceptable! The Preferred Alternative denies reasonable access to anglers and boaters!
  • The Park’s Preferred Alternative will turn ONE THIRD of its waters in Florida Bay into large Pole and Troll Zones (PTZs).The scale of these PTZs is unprecedented! The PTZs are too large and, contrary to statements within the planning document, they lack reasonable access. The PTZs in the Preferred Alternative are de facto exclusionary zones. CCA is concerned that the Park has ignored several years of comments from boaters and anglers in developing its Preferred Alternative.
  • The proposed PTZs in Florida Bay are significantly influenced by tidal flow, winds and seasonal variations in water levels. These conditions as well as safety and weather concerns require access corridors. The distances proposed to access the PTZs are too great to be poled or for the use of electric trolling motors. Access corridors and idle speed access zones are necessary. The Park should establish access corridors in its proposed PTZs similar to those in use in the Pole and Troll Zones of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. These corridors should be marked with buoys.
  • CCA supports the protection of the Park's marine resources and knows that the vast majority of the anglers/boaters in the Park are good stewards of the resource. Anglers and boaters will favorably respond to better marking and educational programs. Informational markers are necessary
  • The Snake Bight PTZ should be modified to allow access through Snake Bight Channel, Christian Point and the natural deep water tidal runoffs along the Snake Bight channel.
  • CCA recommends the Park incrementally establish new and accessible PTZs, starting with the areas around Flamingo and progressing outward as funds become available to properly mark access corridors and PTZs.
  • The proposed shoreline zones will enhance the experience of anglers, but the historically used channels in those areas should be maintained for access and boating safety reasons. These lesser channels/corridors should be marked by buoys or indicated as “local knowledge required”.
  • The implementation of a PTZ along the western portion of Gopher creek is not warranted and is a no boating zone. The Cross Bays/Hurdles Creek area should not be restricted as they provide historic access and passage during rough weather.
  • South Florida and the Florida Keys will be significantly and irreparably economically harmed by the restrictions in the Preferred Alternative.
  • CCA requests now as it has in the past, that the Park establish Working Group of experienced anglers to work with Park planners to identify access corridors.
  • CCA requests the Park produce the promised study of the Snake Bight PTZ before the final GMP is issued.
  • CCA believes that additional marking is needed on the Parks access points to educate boaters on proper navigation, prevailing water levels, resource protection and areas requiring local knowledge.