JCAA Sportsperson Of The Year Dinner Wrap-Up
by Tom Siciliano, Awards Dinner Chairman
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association December 2001 Newsletter)
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The JCAA awards dinner at Crystal Point on October 28th was a huge success. We had 138 people in attendance to honor this years winner of the JCAA Sportsperson of the Year Award Gary Caputi. Gary is a writer, a fisherman and a conservationist who is truly a worthy recipient of this years award. He has held many different jobs in the fishing industry. But that is not why he received the award. It was for his dedication to the protection of the marine resource and rights of recreational anglers. He has given thousands of hours of his time to this effort.
Senator Jon Corzine had to cancel as our guest speaker because of scheduling changes that had to be made after the September 11 attack. His replacement for the evening was Lillian Borrone who retired last year as the Assistant Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She currently chairs the U.S. Department of Transportation Advisory Council to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and in July 2001 she was appointed by President Bush to serve on the Commission on Ocean Policy. The previous commission laid the groundwork for the current Magnuson Act and the current commission will have a similar impact on the future of fisheries management. I have included her speech at the end of my report.
A special thanks goes out to all those who donated prizes for our raffles. This years prizes were fantastic. The raffle prizes included a Penn International 30 with matching rod, a Penn 965 with rod, a Penn 15 KG rod and reel combo, two Folsum Rods and reels. Bimini Bay Outfitters donated two rods and Lamiglas also gave us a rod. There were party boat trips donated by Captain Cal, Big Marie S, Big Mohawk, Night Hawk and Skipper. There were gift certificates from the Thirsty Mallard and Schneiders restaurants and tackle shops. Clarks Marine Supply, Tuckerton donated a special edition Calcutta reel. Ed Cherry donated two framed "flies" which will look great on Marlenes wall. AFTCO Bluewater donated four shirts. Berkley Fishing Tackle provided an assortment of tackle, as did Butch Pawson of Butchs Tackle. Crabbys Tackle, Keyport, Boaters World and The Tackle Box, Hazlet gave an assortment of goodies. North Jersey Yacht Sales gave us two great prints. Fishermans Headquarters donated a print. Power Pro donated a few spools of their great line. Meltzers in Garfield donated a fly reel to go along with the Rogue Fly Rod. Canyon Gear, Inc. donated shirts, hats and bags. The Fisherman Magazine gave us a gift certificate and a library of books and tapes. The Fishermans Den in Belmar gave us a gift certificate. The goose from Glimmer Glass Decoys will look great on my mantle. Jim Fredas new book will provide reading pleasure and a lot of good information to the lucky winner. John Fish gave us six custom carved pins of a striped bass, wahoo, marlin, fluke, tuna and sailfish. J&W Furniture, Tappan, New York gave a custom finished table and my son, papermaker, Thomas G. Siciliano, gave one of his fine pieces of art. Ocean Waves Sunglasses gave gift certificates for two pairs of glasses. Peggy Richetti made a pair of ceramic candleholders that made someone very happy. Also for the ladies Sue McGowan provided a basket of Avon Products. Power Pro line, Bullet weights, Fishermans Choice Squid, Reel Saver, and Driftwood lures donated their products. We would also like to thank Roger & Janice Staib for their donation.
The clubs who supported this event deserve a special thank you. Without them we would not have had the great time we all enjoyed. The Schyler Tuna Club, Fish Hawks, Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County, Village Harbor Fishing Club and Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club each had at least a full table. Len Fantasia of Johnson & Johnson and the Hi-Mar Fishing club also filled a table. Other clubs who helped out were the Hudson River Fishermens Association, Forked River Tuna Club, Absecon Salt Water Anglers, South Jersey Salt Water Anglers, NJ Federation of Sportsmen, NJ PIRG, RFA, NJ Marine Science Consortium, Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association, Manasquan Fishing Club and Friends of Island Beach.
Next years dinner will be even bigger and better. New Dinner Chairman Paul Turi will be looking for assistants to sell tickets and obtain prizes. Mark your calendar for next year so you will not miss next years Dinner. The date is November 10th, 2002.
REMARKS OF LILLIAN BORRONE
COORDINATOR, OFFICE OF RECOVERY AND VICTIM ASSISTANCE
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2001
Good evening. Thank you for inviting me here. As someone who has spent many years working on maritime issues, I have the greatest respect for the fishermen of this state.
I want to talk with you about two very different missions that are defining my career right now. One as New Jerseys Recovery Coordinator focuses on taking care of the immediate here and now for our state. The other serving on the federal Commission on Ocean Policy is about setting a long-range vision for our nations future.
Both missions should concern us all.
In the span of a couple of hours on September 11, terrorists killed or injured hundreds of our citizens, cost many more their jobs, and affected hundreds of businesses in our state. Whether or not each of us had a personal connection to those who were killed coming from the Port Authority, I did we all suffered a great loss that day. We know that full recovery will take a long time, but we can and must do all we can immediately to help victims and families.
By contrast, many issues before the Ocean Commission are problems that developed not in hours, weeks, or even years but over the course of decades. The federal government has wisely said, lets rethink the haphazard way we have made ocean policy, and take the time to research and recommend the best ways to use and protect our ocean resources.
Clearly, both issues are vitally important to New Jersey. Id like to first speak about the September 11 recovery first because that is right now my full-time job.
Geographically speaking, New Jersey is separated from Manhattan by a significant body of water. Never did that distance seem as small as on the day of the attacks.
On that day we all learned just how many New Jersey citizens worked at the World Trade Center as much as 40 percent of the Trade Centers total work force.
On that day New Jersey fire and rescue workers answered the call, as did New Jersey State Police and National Guard. And Liberty State Park became a staging area where many victims first received medical attention.
While the damage that day occurred in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, it quickly became clear that the State of New Jersey had suffered a significant and devastating loss.
Governor DiFrancesco immediately went to work. The next day, he gathered his Cabinet to focus New Jerseys resources on the immense task of identifying victims, comforting their families, and assisting in every way possible.
At his direction, the State quickly set up a crisis hotline for victims families. He then established an Office of Recovery and Victim Assistance, appointed me, and directed me to set up the Family Assistance Center at Liberty State Park.
We had the center up and running on September 19. It has welcomed about 100 people a day ever since. We connect visitors with a full array of State and federal services, as well as organizations like the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the National Organizations of Victim Advocacy which have combined to distribute nearly a million dollars at the center.
More than 1100 families have come to the Family Assistance Center, while the hotline has handled over 4600 calls.
At the center we have helped many family members file death certificate applications or register missing-persons reports.
Other people come to the center having lost a job because of the attacks; we help them apply for unemployment and other benefits that the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers.
Among the most valuable but least quantifiable aspects of the Family Assistance Center are the memorial walls and especially the ferry rides. Once a day, counselors accompany family members by ferry to visit the World Trade Center site. So far, about 800 have taken the trip.
One of those 800 was the wife of a victim who came here from Pennsylvania because we are also helping families from that state.
She was depressed and fearful when she arrived, which is certainly understandable. After she went on the trip, she said she finally realized her husband wasnt just missing, and she was ready to take the next step.
Another person who took the ferry ride was a man whose son was a victim. He came back from his visit to the site very appreciative, and he made a point to thank the staff. He told them that that was the closest he will ever get to his son again.
As sad as these stories are, they give you an idea of how these trips are helping people deal with the reality of this tragedy and to reach closure. Today many of these families attended a special memorial service at the World Trade Center.
The Family Assistance Center is a fundamental part of our states response to the September 11 attacks. We are also responding on other fronts.
The Governor signed a law creating a Domestic Security Task Force to improve our readiness and help prevent future attacks.
Governor DiFrancesco also secured a federal declaration of emergency that enabled individuals and companies to apply for low-interest loans and other forms of federal assistance.
And just the other day he traveled to Capitol Hill to request more than $900 million in federal relief. This funding would enable the state to:
1) recover costs spent on the emergency response and subsequent anthrax incidents,
2) assure we have the capacity to prepare for and prevent future attacks,
3) train and equip first responders for worst-case scenarios, and
4) make sure New Jersey can provide all necessary services to help our citizens cope with disasters and their aftermath.
This process of recovery is going to take a long time. That much is clear. But its also clear to me that we have the will to make it happen. The public and private sectors are working together. Our congressional delegation is united.
The same is true in the New Jersey Legislature. Even in the face of an impending election, Democrats and Republicans are working side-by-side, recognizing that issues like this transcend party labels.
So I am confident that New Jersey will emerge from this crisis a better, stronger state.
Now, let me change topics and speak briefly about the work of the Commission on Ocean Policy. As I said at the outset, this issue is also critical to the future of New Jersey.
As you might know, this isnt the first time a U.S. President has appointed a commission to recommend ocean policy. But it is the first time this has happened since 1969, when the Stratton Commission issued recommendations that, among other things, led to the establishment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the EPA, and the laws governing water quality, air quality, and coastal management.
Obviously, a lot has changed in the past 32 years in our nation, and in the way we use our oceans. We have new challenges, new problems, and a clear need for new solutions.
Thats why Congress passed the Oceans Act of 2000, asking this commission to make recommendations for improving efficiency, enhancing cooperation, and modifying the structure of federal agencies involved in the worlds oceans.
At our first meeting last month, we named a chairman Retired Navy Admiral James Watkins and established four committees. I will serve on the Governance Committee, which is chaired by William Ruckelshaus.
Another committee will focus on stewardship. A third will concentrate on research, education, and marine operations. And a fourth committee will look at investment and development.
Our charge as a commission, over the next 18 months, is to assess a wide range of issues and then make recommendations to Congress and the President about a long-term ocean policy for the nation.
We will talk about responsible use of offshore oil, gas, and other resources.
We will deal with coastal storms and ocean pollution, and the role of oceans in climate change.
We will look at marine transportation and commerce, and international cooperation in marine affairs.
And to be certain, we will discuss stewardship of fisheries and marine life.
As we hold meetings around the nation, conduct research, and consider recommendations, we will want to hear from a wide range of people with interest or involvement in our oceans. We will want to know from you, for instance, how federal laws and policies have affected your members for the better, for the worse, or otherwise.
We will talk to shippers and environmentalists, scientists and government officials and academics, commercial and recreational fishermen.
I have high hopes for this commission. I was honored to be selected by President Bush, and I believe I can bring a lot to the discussion from my experience at the Port Authority particularly in the work of the Governance Committee.
Since this process is just beginning, I cant give you a sense of what our final report will recommend. But I can say that my goal will be to make certain our oceans remain viable for every activity. We must protect their environmental integrity, but also ensure their continued recreational and economic value.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs in New Jersey alone depend on maritime activities in our ports. Tourism our states second largest industry depends on clean, healthy oceans. Of course, commercial and recreational fishing depend on viable coastal waters, too.
So in representing the President on this commission, I will also represent a state of 8.4 million people, so many of whom depend on the Atlantic Ocean to ensure a high quality of life for themselves and their families.
You can be sure that I will do my best, for as long as I serve, in coordinating New Jerseys recovery from the terrible events of September 11.
In both pursuits, I will hope with your help and support to make New Jersey a better place, a safer place, and a more inviting place to live and work and play.
Thank you again, enjoy your evening, and congratulations to Gary Caputi, your newest Sportsperson of the Year.