Alabama Habitat Program Moves Into High Gear

CCA Alabama and the CCA Building Conservation Trust will fund $150,000 for a series of inshore and offshore reefing projects over the coming year that will enhance marine habitat and support recreational fishing in Alabama. In partnership with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources/Marine Resources Division (AMRD), the program seeks to install or restore seven artificial reefs at a total cost of more than $390,000.

“These projects are part of our ongoing commitment to restore and create vital marine habitat in our coastal waters,” said Palmer Whiting, president of CCA Alabama. “Recreational anglers pride themselves on being stewards of the resource, and we are proud to partner with the state of Alabama to identify and fulfill projects that not only serve a critical role as marine habitat, but are also accessible to anglers.”original_alabamahabitat

The range of projects includes three permitted sites on the west end of Dauphin Island where three new reefs of 3-5 acres each will be installed in waters less than 12 feet deep. The funding will also add new materials to three reefs – Zundel’s, Grey Cane and Battles Wharf – that have been degraded by storms or siltation over the years. The final project calls for deploying reef material in two other large reef areas that are located in State waters of the Gulf of Mexico 5 miles from Perdido Pass. Low relief reef materials or structures will be used in parts of these reef areas in an effort to create habitat for juvenile fish.

“We (AMRD) recognize the role habitat has in fisheries management and over the past several decades the AMRD has maintained an active program to build fish habitat,” said Kevin Anson, Chief Biologist of AMRD. “The partnership with CCA Alabama provides an opportunity to maximize available resources providing a win-win situation for the resource and local anglers.”

CCA Alabama has dedicated $50,000 for the series of projects,. The CCA Building Conservation Trust will fund $100,000 and the remainder of the projects’ cost will be provided by the AMRD.

“CCA Alabama is doing a first-rate job of engaging on progressive efforts that benefit not only our fishery resources, but also the people who fish in Alabama,” said Pat Murray, president of CCA National. “This is another great example of how CCA can join with members of the community and the state to achieve great things for the marine ecosystem.”

The Building Conservation Trust is the CCA National habitat initiative that was created in 2011 through a major endowment from Shell Oil Company to provide vital funding for angler-driven, innovative projects that achieve one or more of five key objectives: restore degraded habitats, create new habitats, advance the science of coastal habitat restoration and marine fisheries conservation; foster habitat stewardship and educate coastal communities on the value of conservation.