Foundation creates restoration fund for Gulf Coast fishing habitats

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The FishAmerica Foundation (FAF) has established the FishAmerica Gulf fund to help ease the burden of restoration efforts to sportfish habitat and facilities in the areas that were damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The FAF is the conservation and research foundation of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).

The FishAmerica Gulf Fund was created to help restore critical sportfish habitat and facilities in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

According to the ASA’s report &#8220Sportfishing In America,” recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico represents $8.1 billion in total economic impact with nearly 4.1 million anglers fishing in the Gulf.

Nearly 4.8 million fresh and saltwater anglers fish along the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most recent survey. That survey also shows that the economic impact from those four states alone is approximately $2.6 billion.

The total economic impact reflects state and federal taxes, sales and motor fuel taxes, jobs, salaries and wages, retail sales, as well as the total number of anglers.

&#8220The sportfishing industry is solidly behind the FishAmerica Gulf Fund,” said Dave Pfeiffer, ASA’s Board chairman and executive vice president of the Shimano American Corp. &#8220Many elements make up a great angling experience, but healthy, abundant fisheries as well as access to the resources are keys. It is only fitting that the sportfishing industry take an active role in helping restore both habitat and access, which, in turn will help improve the economy of the area.”

The foundation will work with state and federal natural resource agencies and community conservation groups to identify and prioritize projects like wetland creation and restoration, aquatic vegetation planting, rebuilding angler access and reestablishing fish passage.

Through the fund, grants will be provided to local sportfishing clubs and conservation organizations to aid in their efforts to restore sportfish populations and their habitats and access to their resources.

For additional information and to support the FishAmerica Gulf Fund through directed gifts or by making purchases, please visit or contact Johanna Laderman, managing director of the FishAmerica Foundation, at or 703-519-9691 ext 245.