Our Mission

The stated purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources.
The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these
coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

Our History

The 1980s

A handful of concerned anglers discuss banding together to promote responsible management of Louisiana’s fishery resources.

Louisiana organizes and becomes the third state chapter of the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, which would later be named the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). Texas was the founding GCCA state in 1977; GCCA of Alabama was founded in 1982.

GCCA study of data collected over five years shows that size and bag limits on redfish and speckled trout have improved numbers of fish caught, man-hours required, total weight and averaged and estimated annual harvest. Unregulated fish show a decline. Participated in beginning New Tide, a CCA youth program designed to shape conservationists at a young age.

Called for immediate halt to net harvest of adult redfish in Gulf of Mexico after study reveals excessive netting in Federal waters could collapse resource. Called for state authority over the resource beyond state territorial waters. Stopped purse seining for spawning redfish in the Gulf of Mexico and lowered maximum sizes for redfish to 30″. GCCA wins Conservation Group of the Year Award. CCA calls on Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldridge to declare immediate moratorium on netting redfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. CCA protests National Marine Fishery Services Emergency Interim Plan allowing additional one million pound harvest of redfish in the federal waters of the Gulf. CCA intervenes in lawsuit filed by fishing trade groups to have state laws designed to protect redfish preempted by federal regulations, thus allowing possession and landing of redfish caught in federal waters. CCA-led forces for conservation prevail as the Secretary of Commerce calls for zero harvest of redfish in Gulf during 90-day Interim Emergency Plan II. Federal Management Plan closes Gulf redfish fishery for 1987, a first step victory for CCA-led conservationists. Mississippi becomes the fourth CCA state. Florida conservationists organize the fifth CCA state chapter under the name Florida Conservation Association. South Carolina is the sixth; its name is the Atlantic Coast Conservation Association (ACCA).

CCA announces opposition to Federal Management Plan for redfish; declares it inconsistent with CCA position on conservation of the resource and the states rights to protect it. GCCA establishes biologically needed commercial quota for speckled trout and juvenile redfish. GCCA establishes new minimum sizes for both commercially and recreationally caught specks and reds. CCA supports Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council s amendment to Federal Management Plan for redfish. CCA votes to increase efforts to bring about a management plan for billfish, which are being increasingly taken by tuna longliners. GCCA attains gamefish status for marlins and sailfish. ACCA of Georgia organizes as the seventh CCA state.

GCCA attains gamefish status for redfish through 1991. Federal Management Plan for billfish signed by Secretary of Commerce, marking the first time federal authorities have declared a gamefish in federal waters. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council recommends to National Marine Fishery Service that a new three-fish bag limit be imposed on red snapper for recreational fishermen.

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council adopts final proposal for the Reef Plan. The Plan includes bag limit of seven red snapper per day over 13″; bag limit of five grouper per day, Jewfish have a 50″ size limit and black sea bass have a size limit of 8″; and amberjack limited to three fish per day with a 28″ limit. CCA intervenes in lawsuit filed to challenge the Federal Management Plan for billfish. ACCA of North Carolina and ACCA of Virginia organize as the eighth and ninth CCA states, respectively.

The 1990s

U.S. District Court turns down a challenge by commercial interest to CCA-supported Atlantic Billfish Plan. Exxon approves grant to produce a video to be used in conjunction with the New Tide Program. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council bans drift nets in action supported by sister CCA state organization FCA, the Florida Conservation Association and all conservationists. CCA s New Tide Program membership surges.

GCCA institutes biologically recommended permanent gamefish status for redfish. GCCA establishes Commission management for speckled trout based on science and legislated policy standards. GCCA wins the White Egret Award for organizing the first and largest barrier island cleanup effort in the U.S. during Coastal Cleanup 1987 and 1988. GCCA donates enforcement equipment to both the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A New Tide, a video about coastal estuaries (funded by Exxon) is completed and distributed to all CCA state chapters. The video is used in conjunction with the New Tide program. GCCA tags and releases over 5,000 small marine fish. GCCA institutes an aggressive education and national advocacy program to address coastal erosion problems and solutions. GCCA passes an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution (Proposition 2) to guarantee the funding necessary to preserve the valuable wetlands of the Sportsman s Paradise. CCA’s Tide magazine named top outdoor magazine. CCA forms its Legal Defense Fund in order to accumulate funds to underwrite the increasing challenges against states rights to establish fishery management regulations.

GCCA retains continued gamefish status for redfish. GCCA continues work with the Engineer Corps, other federal and state agencies, and private organizations in dealing with marine estuary and habitat issues. CCA assists with an appeal of a decision by a Miami federal district judge who ruled that Florida s landing laws for Spanish mackerel were unconstitutional. GCCA defeats legislation to abolish the La. Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and to allow for the sale of various gamefish. GCCA continues monitoring and maintenance of marine fishery conservation and management measures and law enforcement. GCCA increases involvement with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to ensure that appropriate and timely science is generated for wise marine fishery conservation and management.

GCCA continues to further finfish preservation and coastal management ideals. GCCA fights back efforts to remove minimum size limit on speckled trout and to repeal gamefish status for redfish. GCCA begins planning stages for Louisiana s first statewide, summer-long fishing tournament. Maine organizes as CCA’s tenth state; its name is NECCA, the New England Coast Conservation Association.

GCCA board adopts plan for the Louisiana S.T.A.R.: GCCA’s Statewide Tournament and Anglers Rodeo. The tournament will be a major membership recruitment tool for the Association, will offer tremendous prizes and will be zero-budgeted to the operations of the GCCA. GCCA champions efforts to retain continued gamefish status for redfish. NECCA of Massachusetts becomes CCA’s eleventh sister state.

GCCA successfully leads effort to protect marine fishery resources from most indiscriminate entanglement nets through the Louisiana Marine Resources Conservation Act of 1995. The American Sportsfishing Association names GCCA the Outstanding Grassroots Organization in America. GCCA intervenes in state lawsuit to assist in the defense of the new gill-net law. The inaugural GCCA S.T.A.R. (Statewide Tournament and Anglers Rodeo) commences signing up over 2,000 entrants. More than $300,000 in prizes are offered to participants who compete for 101 days from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day fishing from every corner of the Sportsman s Paradise. GCCA’s Tagging Program approaches two milestones: 50,000 fish tagged and 1,250 registered anglers. NECCA of Maryland and of Connecticut join CCA as her twelfth and thirteenth states, respectively. GCCA successfully spearheads effort to defeat Constitutional Amendment #8 which would have allowed piece-meal local laws regulating fish and wildlife. GCCA board votes unanimously to endorse a name change from GCCA of Louisiana to CCA Louisiana, thereby bringing uniformity to all sister states of the Coastal Conservation Association. CCA board votes to phase-in the nationwide name change before 2000.

GCCA intervenes in federal lawsuit to aid in the defense of Louisiana s gill-net law. The 2nd Annual GCCA S.T.A.R. kicks off Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day. The goal of 4,000 S.T.A.R. entrants is reached, and anglers compete for 101 days. Over $300,000 in prizes is offered to contestants. GCCA board adopts plan for launching CoastWatchers, a program designed to help the hard-working agents of the Enforcement Division by being additional eyes and ears on the water. The program will be in full operation by spring 1997. GCCA continues as the largest supporter of Operation Game Thief. All CCA states announce intentions to change their states names by January 1, 1997. CCA of New York becomes the Coastal Conservation Association’s fourteenth state chapter.

“We’ve changed our name to protect the innocent,” becomes the catch phrase for the name change. GCCA of Louisiana officially becomes CCA Louisiana. Louisiana successfully defends legislative attempts to reverse significant conservation gains such as the 1995 law restricting gill nets and gamefish status for redfish. The family of the late Bubba Sealy joins CCA to endow a unique scholarship at Louisiana State University (LSU) dedicated to studies of Louisiana’s recreational finfish populations. The late Mr. Sealy was a life-long conservationist served on CCA Louisiana’s board of directors. The scholarship is officially known as the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana/J. Pollard Sealy, Jr. Family Memorial Scholarship. Intervention by CCA Louisiana supporting the gill-net law in federal and state lawsuits ensures continued enforcement of this critical law for responsible stewardship of our state’s resources. Participation in Operation BeachSweep by CCA Louisiana reaches an all-time high. Louisiana’s best-known outdoorsman, Governor Mike Foster, is honored as CCA Louisiana’s “Conservationist of the Year” for his lifetime commitment to responsible use of our state’s renewable resources. CCA Louisiana’s 3rd Annual S.T.A.R. runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. $400,000 in prizes offered to contestants ensures that over 5,000 fisherman participate in the 101-days event. Preparations for CCA Louisiana’s 15th Anniversary are launched.

“15 Years & Still Reelin’” marks the rallying cry for CCA Louisiana’s 15th Anniversary. Over 15,000 conservationists statewide celebrate the milestone. CCA Louisiana continues its defense of Louisiana’s gill-net law in both state and federal courts. The Coastwatchers Program grows as CCA Louisiana recruits more volunteers. CCA Louisiana’s participation with Operation Game Thief and Operation BeachSweep intensify. The 4th Annual CCA Louisiana’s S.T.A.R. attracts 7,500 entrants fishing from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. $500,000 in prizes is offered to those fishing the 108-day event. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary J. H. Jenkins, Jr. is awarded CCA Louisiana’s “Conservationist of the Year” for his commitment to marine conservation. CCA of New Hampshire becomes the Coastal Conservation Association’s fifteenth state chapter.

CCA Louisiana’s Tagging Program approaches two milestones: 100,000 fish tagged and 1,500 registered anglers. Newspaper publisher B. I. Moody, III receives CCA Louisiana’s “Conservationist of the Year” for spreading the good news of good stewardship in his 33 newspapers statewide. CCA Louisiana’s intervention ensures that both state and federal courts finally rule in favor of Louisiana’s gill-net law. CCA Louisiana successfully defends legislative assaults on significant conservation gains, including the laws restricting gill nets and gamefish status for redfish. The 1999 CCA S.T.A.R. Tournament concludes with nearly 10,000 anglers competing for 101 days for the $500,000 prize offering.

The 2000s

CCA Louisiana provided Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents with navigation, global positioning and sonar equipment.

Won court fights when U.S. Supreme Court issued final ruling upholding Louisiana gill net ban. Launched Gulf-wide phone number, 866-WE-ENFORCE, to report coastal game violations.

Constructed Bird Island Artificial Reef.

Launched first-ever derelict crab trap removal program in the state.

Led successful effort to keep open-loop LNG terminals out of Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Louisiana coastline and rescue efforts were led by CCA Louisiana volunteers.

Constructed Redfish Point Reef in Vermilion Bay. Established endowed scholarship in marine studies at University of Louisiana-Lafayette throught the newly created CCA Louisiana Foundation. Joined forces with other agencies in the Marine Debris Surveying and Mapping Program.

Constructed Turner’s Bay Artificial Reef in Calcasieu Lake.

Constructed Bird Island Artificial Reef and Point Mast Artificial Reef in Lake Pelto.

The 2010s

Construction began on two artificial reefs as part of the I-10 Twin Span projects in Lake Pontchartrain. Developed the CCA Louisiana/4-H Clubs Youth Program, bringing the positive message of CCA and coastal conservation to thousands of youth across Louisiana. Partnered with LDWF on the Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, helping to create science based solutions for our fisheries management challenges. Coordinated the planning and construction of the I-10 Twin Span Reefs in Lake Pontchartrain, marking the first time in Louisiana that artificial reefs were made of recycled debris material. CCA Louisiana was named by Boating Magazine as one of 2010’s Eco Award Winner for positive impacts during the BP oil spill crisis. John Walther, CCA Artificial Reef Coordinator, was recognized by Field & Stream magazine as a 2010 Hero of Conservation. Worked closely with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Governor Bobby Jindal’s Office to develop plans for a Saltwater Fish Hatchery in Louisiana to mitigate damages to the spawn and juvenile fish suffered during the BP oil spill crisis.

Constructed Independence Island Artificial Reef in Barataria Bay. Finished construction of the second phase of the I-10 Twin Span Reef Project in Lake Pontchartrain. Spearheaded the Floating Islands Project in Terrebonne Parish. About 1,500 linear feet of the islands were installed using two types of marsh grass to create a habitat component.

Constructed Brad Vincent Reef in Calcasieu Lake in Lake Charles. Began construction on the new artificial reef in Breton Sound. Constructed Buras High School Reef in Breton Sound, made from recycled material of the once-existing high school that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

CCA Louisiana celebrated its 30th anniversary. Constructed St. Tammany Fishing Pier Reef in Lake Pontchartrain using more recycled materials from the I-10 Twin Spans. Spearheaded Phase II of the Floating Islands Project in Terrebonne Parish with an additional 1,000 linear feet of islands built in the area. Constructed the Leon and David Ortemond Reef in Vermilion Bay from recycled material from the old Adeline sugar factory in Baldwin.

Constructed the Laketown Reef in the western part of Lake Pontchartrain. Constructed three reefs, The Pickets, over a decomissioned oil rig in Ship Shoal 26.

Built enhancements to both Redfish Pointe II Reef in Vermilion Bay and Independence Island Reef in Barataria Bay. Spearheaded Floating Islands Project build in Lafourche Parish in Grand Isle.

Built West End Reef in the mid-western part of Lake Pontchartrain to revitalize a portion of the lakeshore that was decimated by Hurricane Katrina. Assumes control of the TAG Louisiana program from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Built Big Jack’s Reef in the southeast portion of Calcasieu Lake, named for founding CCA Louisiana member Jack Lawton, Sr. Spearheaded oyster reef conservation in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake. Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 156 by Representative Stephen Dwight of Lake Charles – known as Act 259 of the 2017 Regular Legislative Session, limiting oyster harvest in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake to hand-tonging only, and removes scrapers (dredges) as an allowable harvest method. Constructed Vincent Matherne Reef in St. John’s Parish portion of Lake Pontchartrain, named after founding member of River Parishes Chapter. Cox Communications and The Trust for Public Land named Conservation and Habitat Chairman John Walther as Louisiana’s 2017 Cox Conserves Hero. Built expansion to the Point Mast Reef in Terrebonne Bay, the second enhancement to the original reef constructed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1985.

CCA Louisiana celebrated 35 years of conservation. Brad Vincent Artificial Reef was expanded in Calcasieu Lake. Calcasieu oyster reefs on a comeback after removal of dredges. U.S. House of Representatives Passes Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Bill. CCA’s Camp Matens named to the Gulf Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee. Acadiana area school kids help CCA build Floating Islands Restoration Project in Vermilion Bay. CCA Louisiana recommends creation of a special task force to address complex waterway access issue. Congress passes the Modern Fish Act into law.

Gulf Council approved state management for red snapper. CCA Louisiana and partners complete Phase II of Cypremort Point Floating Islands. Establishes REEF Louisiana, a program focused on building near shore reefs on the old footprint of decommissioned oil platforms with repurposed materials.  Builds first near shore reef, Ted Beaullieu, Sr. Complex, in South Marsh Island 233 named after long-time CCA supporter. Expands Big Jack’s Reef in Calcasieu Lake. Builds second near shore reef, Rawls Reef Complex, in Vermilion Blocks 119 & 124. Installed sixth Floating Islands project near Prien Lake in Lake Charles.