03/05/10 — CCA shines at annual gathering

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CCA shines at annual gathering

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 5, 2010 1:46 PM

Sportsmen from across Wayne County came together at Walnut Creek Country Club for a good cause on Thursday night.

The Coastal Conservation Association rolled into town for its annual dinner and banquet and the attendees did not leave dissapointed. The night featured a large silent auction, a generous live auction, raffles and of course a meal.

"These banquets are great for the CCA for two reasons," Coastal Conservation Association director Stephen Ammons said. "First it allows us to get all of our members in one spot for a fun night of activities and second we make a little bit of money that we use to further the association in North Carolina."

Wayne County was the third stop on a tour that includes 13 counties across the state. All money raised along the way is used locally.

"That's a unique thing about the CCA because if a person decides to donate, they know their money is being used in their own back yard," said Ammons. "Other organizations pool their funds and split them among several states, but we choose not to do that."

All of the items in the live auction were donated for the event. Several trips, including a four day Bahama's bonefishing excursion, highlighted the list. Artwork by North Carolina artists, dinners for large groups, fishing equipment and a kayak were also part of the live auction festivities.

Approximately 150 supporters of the CCA took in the night's events.

"We hoped for a good turnout this year because last year was a little down," Wayne County chapter president Jeff Prince said. "I think with the economy beginning to straighten up that people are able to show their support and tonight its good to see so many people coming out."

Several corporate sponsors that helped make the event possible were rewarded with a special gift at their respective tables. The "Premium" level sponsors included Best Commercial Developement, MacDonald/Parker, Sam's Wholesale Club, Wayne Pharmacy and Dr. Keith Hinnant.

Aside from all of the fun, Ammons made several points regarding the CCA's mission and the association's lofty goals for 2010. Two main areas of concern are the effect gill nets are having on incidental turtle takes as well as the overfishing of flounder in the southern United States.

"The Marine Fisheries Commission recently turned down a proposal to pull gill nets out of the water from May through December," said Ammons. "We obviously would like to see those nets removed all the time, but the proposal that was presented was part of a compromise. The commission was not willing to accept that compromise."

The CCA operates in 17 states and serves a membership base of approximately 100,000 people. The association was founded in 1977.