Operations Manager Report
by Sharon McKenna
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association January 2010 Newsletter)
November was a busy month here in the office, as well as out. Grant writing continues to be a focus of my time. As we receive grants, I will announce them in this column. I hope to share good news in next month's newspaper!
On November 30, several JCAA Board members (Bruce Smith, Tom Siciliano, and John Koegler) and I attended the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute’s marine resource stakeholder roundtable meeting. The purpose of the roundtable was to review and discuss MARCO’s preliminary report and recommendations: Actions, Timelines, and Leadership to Advance the Mid-Atlantic Governor’s Agreement on Ocean Conservation (MARCO Action Plan), to encourage active engagement of N.J. ocean stakeholder groups in MARCO, and to prepare our New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) representatives for the regional stakeholder meeting that was scheduled for Dec. 9-10, 2009 in NYC. The notes and summary of the discussions from the roundtable were provided to the NJDEP representatives to MARCO for their use in ensuring that the stakeholder priorities were discussed at the December meeting.
Priorities to our recreational fishing community included the following: MARCO should seek to identify desirable uses (such as fishing, recreation, etc.) that should be priorities for planning and protection. MARCO should work closely with stakeholders to develop a process for MARCO and the five (5) states to follow with respect to assuring stakeholder input, so all stakeholders can be heard. In the case of offshore renewable energy facilities, states should set the priorities for fisheries and habitat protection first, then set priorities for siting energy facilities.
JCAA representatives made several recommendations concerning MARCO’s role in the improvement of regional fisheries stock assessments, noting that anglers will be very concerned about proposals that will result in limiting access; definition of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and the MSP process, and how they will be incorporated into the GIS mapping efforts identified in the Action Plan and their trickledown effect on marine usage; relation of MARCO to other agencies and organizations, i.e., the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC); addressing prescription drugs “down the drain,” and other nontraditional pollutants into receiving waters; identification of the connections between habitat protection efforts and fisheries conservation; and recognition that, even with spatial planning to identify locations for renewable energy, those locations become fish habitats once structures are in place.
The MARCO is modeled on other regional consortiums, such as the five state Gulf of Mexico Alliance (gulfofmexicoalliance.org), which has provided a successful framework for MARCO. To learn more about MARCO, visit the website: www.midatlanticocean.org
On Monday, December 14, I was honored to testify on behalf of JCAA before the Senate Environment Committee in support of SB 3041 to require the construction of a closed loop water vapor system for the Oyster Creek nuclear power generation station in Lacey Township. My testimony was picked up and a portion of it featured on New Jersey 101.5 and 92.7 WOBM. It was my honor and privilege to express the views of the member clubs of the JCAA regarding this bill and if you are interested in my testimony, the statement I read is included in this newspaper.
Reminder, in case you want to come over and talk fishing: Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday, I will be off-site until January 7, when office hours will resume 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. as we gear up for the 16th Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament. Be on the lookout for our sponsors and entry forms, as well as high roller raffle books coming to a mailbox near you soon!
Fluke Tournament Report
Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 12, 2010 for the 16th Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament. The awards ceremony will be held Friday, June 18, 2010 at Trump Marina Hotel Casino. The Fluke Tournament planning is coming along nicely. We have received confirmation from the following national companies as sponsors of the event: Pure Fishing, Ugly Stick, Penn, Spiderwire, Berkley, Costa del Mar, Minn-kota, Johnson Electronics, Nor’east Saltwater magazine, NJ Angler magazine. We are in negotiations with a fantastic retailer to whom I was able to present this valuable promotional opportunity that comes with sponsoring the largest one-day tournament on the East Coast. The next newspaper will contain news about this retailer.
As always, the tournament committee is in need of volunteers to get the word out about the tournament, including those who can deliver posters and entry forms to marinas and tackle shops throughout the geographic span of the tournament. One thing that sets our tournament apart is the number of door prizes we award, so we are always looking for excellent ones that promote a business connected with fishing. Last year, we handed out several "free entry" forms for tournaments that our member clubs hold throughout the year. Your club’s tournament gets some additional advertising and some lucky angler gets the family together to participate – truly a win/win. Please let me know when your club makes the decision to offer a free entry so I can share the news with our entire membership right here in this newspaper.
We have not yet nailed down a Grand Prize Sponsor and although there was a lot of enthusiasm for this year’s cash prize, we really want to get back to a boat, motor and trailer as in most of the previous tournaments. We want to make sure we have all our sponsors and their logos by January so we can begin to advertise their involvement with our organization and its mission to represent the position of marine sport anglers, champion their causes and protect their rights in matters pertaining to fishing, fisheries, and environmental quality. This mission has never been more important than now, as you will see from several reports in this newspaper.
We are also looking for a first place port prize sponsor. Grand Prize and port sponsors get prominent placement on our website, on all posters, banners and advertisements, on our t-shirts and in our newspapers, which reach over 4,000 anglers, policy makers and industry leaders involved in our sport.
In our next newspaper, we will begin to feature our sponsors and their prizes so you will know what you might win when you catch a doormat on June 12, 2010. And as always, patronizing our sponsors is what makes them return to JCAA year after year. So, I know the winter is closing in, but in a blink of the eye, it’ll be fluke season and the tournament will be upon us. Thank you for your support of the JCAA. Please call me at the office at 732-506-6565 with your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, free tournament entries, etc. I am in the office every weekday except for Thursday until January 7th, when we will resume normal office hours all week long – 9 to 2 p.m.
The fundraising committee is interested in your views on new events. Would you have an interest in a fishing flea market? An art auction? Or an outing at a home game of the NJ Devils hockey team? Please contact me at the office with your thoughts and ideas. We are always looking for fresh ideas.
Statement of Sharon McKenna, Operations Manager, Jersey Coast Anglers Association Before the Senate Environment Committee
December 14, 2009
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Sharon McKenna, I am here on behalf of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Normally, Tom Fote, our legislative chair would be here but is unable to attend, so I am testifying instead. JCAA is in support of SB 3041.
JCAA was founded in 1981 to represent recreational anglers and their fishing clubs. To be clear, Jersey Coast is not opposed to Oyster Creek. Jersey Coast is, however, opposed to the impact that the current water intake system is having on Barnegat Bay. We are not naïve enough to believe that a closed loop water vapor system will completely heal the bay. Nonpoint source pollution does have an impact. My township of Stafford (Manahawkin) has introduced its own fertilizer ordinance to address nonpoint source pollution and runoff into Barnegat Bay. Will this small effort heal the bay? No, but every action helps, both with the nonpoint source pollution control and with the point source impact of the power plant. To have a closed loop water vapor system available to mitigate damage to the Barnegat Bay ecosystem and then not use it would be irresponsible.
Exelon and Oyster Creek enjoys a reputation as a good corporate citizen with strong community ties. This is their chance to prove it, put their money where their mouths are, so to speak. Along with their license renewal comes the reality that they are going to remain our neighbors for decades to come. Jersey Coast strongly supports mitigating the impact of nuclear power generation on the lagoonal ecosystem that serves as a nursery for the fish species that are the foundation of our sport. These species include: striped bass, bluefish, fluke, weakfish, winter flounder, shad, herring, shrimp, clams, oysters, killie fish, silversides, blowfish, bay anchovies, kingfish, blue claw crabs, plankton, terrapins, and porgies.
It’s not in my prepared remarks, but I think it is important to state: Jersey Coast’s President Mark A. Taylor is plant manager of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. The commission just added four cooling towers to their plant complex. The towers were hooked in during routine maintenance and not one day of operations was missed. Not one. I find it hard to believe that nuclear construction engineers can’t reach that same achievement.
And with that, thank you for your consideration of the Jersey Coast position. I am available to answer any questions you may have.