Raising funds to fuel habitat restoration and environmental conservation when the local chapter of a nationwide organization holds its second annual banquet early next month.

 

 

Raising funds to fuel habitat restoration and environmental conservation when the local chapter of a nationwide organization holds its second annual banquet early next month.

The Gulf County chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association Florida will hold the banquet 6-10 p.m. ET Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Centennial Building in Port St. Joe.

The event will include a dinner catered by J.R.’s Rib Shack, live and silent auctions, raffles and giveaways.

All to raise money for CCA Florida’s myriad projects, ranging from fundraising to advocacy, aimed at bolstering marine habitat and support recreational fishing.

“This is the second year for the local chapter and the second banquet,” said Amanda Krpan, regional director for CCA Florida. “We had nearly 100 people out last year and we are expecting to go well over 100 this year. It is a nice evening out, family event.

“We are trying to build our (local) committee through good works and successful events.”

Among the good local works on tap will be a seagrass restoration project taking shape to address propeller scarring and other health threats to the valued seagrasses of St. Joseph Bay.

Such a project aligns with the overall mission of the CCA, a non-profit grass roots volunteer-driven organization based in Texas.

The organization, Krpan said, could be thought of the NRA for recreational anglers.

As opposed to the NRA, however, the group has offices only in coastal states, Krpan said.

CCA Florida is based out of Orlando.

“The banquet is the fundraising element and there is also an advocacy element,” Krpan said, noting the organization lobbies state governments on a host of issues important to the recreational fishing sector.

Those issues range from stock assessments and fisheries management to water quality and reef health.

“We also have habitat and environmental projects,” she added. “We are giving a voice to the recreational fishing industry and working on habitat and environmental restoration.”

Among recent notable projects was an Oyster Bay shoreline stabilization project along the Canaveral National Seashore.

And each local committee, on the county or municipal level, energizes and monetizes its efforts by way on annual banquet, which could also be considered a party/dinner.

The banquet, Krpan said, provides a “great opportunity for local businesses” to align with and help fund the organization’s efforts through sponsorships.

And the dinner comes with an inviting twist: among the auction items is a seat at the “Captain’s Table,” a surf-and-turf spread in the middle of the floor with all the fixin’s imaginable.

Tickets for the banquet are $75 per person, or $140 for a couple.

A table for 10 may be reserved for $700.

Visit CCAFlorida.org for additional details or to purchase a ticket.