Houston, Texas (FOX51) — Coastal Conservation Association and Shell Oil Company have announced an extension of their unique partnership that has already produced more than a dozen significant marine habitat restoration projects along the Gulf Coast over the past two years. Shell’s decision to fund $500,000 over each of the next three years will enable CCA’s Building Conservation Trust to continue providing vital funding for grassroots-driven marine habitat projects.
“The program is achieving every goal that we set when we first discussed the need for a sustainable marine habitat program with Shell in 2010,” said Patrick Murray, president of CCA. “This is a relationship that has drawn on the best of private industry, public stewardship and our sporting tradition to enhance our coasts. We are proud to be working with our partners at Shell to not only create new habitat, but to advance the science of habitat restoration and marine fisheries conservation. It’s been a fantastic partnership by any metric.”
The company’s original commitment of $1.5 million to the CCA Building Conservation Trust (BCT) in 2010 was one of the company’s largest contributions ever given to a non-profit organization engaged in this type of conservation work. Over the first two years of the program, $1 million in BCT funding was matched by more than $1.6 million from various partners in both the private and public sectors to place reefs in places such as Barataria Bay, Louisiana, Mobile Bay, Alabama, and off Matagorda, Texas.
In one of its more innovative projects, BCT was able to advance marsh restoration science with “floating islands” technology in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The project brought together students from local schools, members of a local Native American tribe, CCA volunteers and Shell employees to rebuild 2,500 linear feet of shoreline. For its support of the project, Shell earned the 2013 Gulf Guardian Award bestowed by the Gulf of Mexico Program, an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico.
The CCA Building Conservation Trust was created exclusively to fund marine habitat creation and restoration in areas that can be accessed and enjoyed by recreational anglers, and that achieve one or more of five key objectives: restore degraded habitats, create new habitats, advance the science of habitat restoration and conservation; foster habitat stewardship and educate on the value of conservation to coastal communities.
“Shell’s generosity and vision have meant more reefs, more marsh restoration, more research and more science to sustain marine resources all along the coast,” said Murray. “This is a commitment that is deeply appreciated and understood by all sportsmen, particularly by the marine recreational angling community.”
For a complete listing of BCT projects and information on the scope of the program’s restoration efforts, visit the CCA website, at www.JoinCCA.org.