Statements of Institutional Sustaining Members of Center for Coastal Conservation

The Center for Coastal Conservation represents a new frontier in the conservation of our nation’s marine resources. Its creation opens a new channel for conservationists to fully participate in elective politics and promote the ideals of their sport to the political leaders who make many of the key decisions in fisheries management.

Coastal Conservation Association has a long and successful history of marine resource management. Through the grassroots efforts of tens of thousands of volunteers under the guidance of a knowledgeable committee system and a committed board of directors, CCA has set the pace in coastal conservation. Drawing upon more than 30 years of experience, key founders of CCA recognized that to be the most effective stewards of our nation’s marine resources, conservationists must be fully engaged in the political process.

That recognition led them to embrace the concept of the Center for Coastal Conservation, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. But maybe in this case, it is better to say that the rest is the future.

The groups and individuals involved in the Center for Coastal Conservation have achieved amazing conservation victories on their own for decades. The Center will merge their strengths into a single, formidable force for marine resource conservation that is unparalleled.

(David Cummins, President, CCA, www.JoinCCA.org)

From the National Marine Manufacturers Association

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is proud to be a founding member of the Center for Coastal Conservation. As the nation’s leading trade association for the recreational marine industry, NMMA recognizes the strong connection between marine conservation and a vibrant boating industry, a $40 billion-a-year enterprise. NMMA supports such Center objectives as promoting quality recreational fishing; improving angling and boating access; ensuring that fishery stocks are rebuilt, and protecting Americans’ right to enjoy sport fishing.

We are eager to help partner many of the nation’s leaders in boating and fishing to educate federal policy makers, and amplify the collective voices of sport fishermen and the recreational boating and fishing industries. The Center is a non-partisan advocacy organization that seeks to build support for recreational fishing and boating, so that the quality and tradition of a cherished pastime continues for future generations.

(Scott Gudes, Vice President, Government Relations, NMMA, www.nmma.org)

From the International Game Fish Association

Every year, more than 12 million Americans enjoy wetting a line in our oceans and along our coasts. More than just a traditional American pastime and contributor to conservation, saltwater recreational fishing is a major economic driver generating more than $30 billion in economic impact and supporting nearly 350,000 jobs nationwide. As such, there needs to be a clear and coordinated message to the decision makers within our federal government to ensure that this constituency is heard and given appropriate consideration. Current tax laws severely limit the ability of not-for-profit organizations like the International Game Fish Association to become involved in the political process. The Center for Coastal Conservation provides a much-needed mechanism for angling organizations and individuals to communicate a unified message to political leaders and other government officials.

As an international organization with members in more than 120 countries and territories, IGFA would like to see the United States become a more proactive leader in international fisheries issues affecting fishermen around the world. The first step to doing this is by becoming a higher priority for our government right here in the United States. We feel that our nearly 70-year reputation as a leader in game fish conservation and our international knowledge of recreational fishing will be a great benefit to the newly created Center. We have high hopes for a more proactive approach to fisheries management and look forward to working with our colleagues on this joint effort.

(Rob Kramer, President, IGFA, www.igfa.org)

From the American Sportfishing Association

The American Sportfishing Association supports the important role that the Center for Coastal Conservation has created to provide a voice representing the sportfishing industry and recreational anglers in federal election campaigns.

The opportunity for industry members and saltwater anglers to contribute to a political action committee that represents their interests is an important role in our democracy. Such actions build understanding, support and safeguards for recreational fishing and sound fishery management.

Anglers and industry members should take every opportunity to exercise their privilege to participate in the political process. The Center’s role in coordinating action for marine conservation will pay dividends as it works to engage the recreational angling community to further improve fisheries management and conservation throughout the nation’s coastal waters.

(Mike Nussman, President, ASA, www.asafishing.org )

From The Billfish Foundation

The Billfish Foundation is pleased to be part of the Center for Coastal Conservation. The time has come for all fisheries managers to practice good stewardship and focus on conserving the fish population for future generations by helping put an end to overfishing. Conversely, it is also important for anglers, boaters and related businesses to invest in protecting the ocean resources from which they benefit.

The history of The Billfish Foundation in the United States and around the world attests to our organization’s commitment to strong representation of fish and ocean conservation by sport fishermen. The Foundation takes a three-pronged approach—research, education and advocacy—directed toward finding constructive solutions to the difficult challenges of management and conservation, while simultaneously investing in education for the next generation of anglers, boaters and resource stewards.

Pulling together the expertise and assets of the institutional sustaining members of the Center creates a strong voice representing leaders in the United States’ recreational fishing and boating industries. Collectively, the Center’s sustaining members are a strong economic force with a large voting bloc that believes in conserving the marine resources upon which the industries and their related activities depend.

(Ellen Peel, President, TBF, www.billfish.org)