Coastal Conservationists, We’re on our Own

Tony Friedrich has a warning for Florida fisherman: No one has your back. Friedrich has spent the better part of his life fighting a mostly uphill battle over the Chesapeake. He has watched a national treasure slowly degrade and coastal communities suffer in the absence of a united voice for conservation. He sees Florida heading in the same direction.

Worse, Friedrich sees national groups like CCA, whose Maryland organization he ran, campaigning to weaken regional and federal protections for coastal fisheries. Angling communities dedicated to conservation are increasingly isolated, outgunned by industry lobbying power, and locked out of policymaking discussions. If Florida Bay’s struggle for clean water is waged independently of Pine Island Sound’s fight, or the St. Lucie’s…or the effort to rebuild red snapper stocks, or offshore fisheries, or the Chesapeake…then none of us has a great chance. If we fight together, though, we represent a huge number of stakeholders—the majority of people—who care about the future of our waterways and managing our resources for the next generation. The success of the Now Or Neverglades coalition in Florida, with support from industry leaders like Patagonia, Orvis, and Columbia, proves we can win. But today the political organizations with the power to unite us have other priorities.

LINK (via: Bull Sugar)

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