The Coastal Conservation Association is a non-profit marine conservation organization. It is comprised of 17 coastal state chapters spanning the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific Northwest. CCA’s strength is drawn from the thousands of recreational saltwater anglers who make up its membership. From the Mexico border to the upper-reaches of Maine, CCA’s grassroots influence is felt through state capitols, U.S. Congress and most importantly, in the conservation and restoration of our coastal marine resources.
CCA began in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. Fourteen concerned recreational anglers created the Gulf Coastal Conservation Association to combat commercial excesses and conserve the resource. The spirit of conservation and stewardship that started with the “Save the Redfish” campaign soon swept across the entire Gulf coast. By 1985, Gulf state chapters had formed from Texas to Florida. By the mid ’90s, states through the mid-Atlantic and New England were united to address state and national issues as the Coastal Conservation Association. Washington and Oregon opened CCA chapters in 2007. In 2015, the CCA California chapter was created. CCA has been active in virtually every national fisheries debate since 1984 and has participated productively in state and federal fisheries management issues for longer than two decades. CCA continues to operate as a three-tiered organization, affecting issues on a local, state and national level.
CCA is unique in that while it has national impact, each state in the organization operates its own organization, funds its own operations, and decides the issues it chooses to address on a state level. Funds raised for CCA Texas do not fund projects for CCA Florida, Louisiana or Maine. Each state retains its own Executive Director, has its own Board of Directors and sub-committees.
CCA’s unmatched breadth and depth of volunteer involvement has made it the largest marine conservation group of its kind. Beyond the tangible accomplishments seen in state and federal legislatures and fisheries management councils, commissions and panels, CCA’s proactive presence defeats many ill-conceived proposals before they bloom. CCA and its state organizations are engaged in hundreds of different programs and projects related to conservation at all times. These programs and projects include scientific studies, scholarship funding, artificial reefs, hatcheries, contaminate studies, hydrology studies, freshwater inflows, and support of local enforcement agencies and others.