CCA Comes to the University of Alabama
Students come together to bring another environmental organization to campus. The students aim to raise awareness about issues that face the coastlines of Alabama and all other states with a coastline. By John Simpson
It’s hard to find someone who does not enjoy going to and being at the beach. Here in Alabama, that is no different than anywhere else, but some people find the coast even more important than just as a tourist spot. At the University of Alabama, a group of students has come together to bring a chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association to campus in order to promote awareness about environmental issues that affect Alabama’s coastlines and other coastlines across the country.
Tyler Stewart, Addison Cullpepper, Jordan Vickers, Fran Pecci, and Austin Barrington make up the five executive board members as of right now for the University of Alabama Chapter of the CCA. As of right now, their organization is not recognized by The SOURCE, which is coordinating body that helps organizations on campus. The group will be recognized starting next fall, says Tyler Stewart, who said that the group hopes to be up to 50 members by the time they become official next fall.
Starting a student chapter seemed like a natural thing to do for the five board members, who are all members of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity on campus. After taking a class with the fraternity’s faculty advisor, Dr. Michael Steinberg, the guys were told that there was no campus chapter. The group then contacted the CCA and they gladly assisted the students in setting it up, said Stewart.
The chapter here at the University of Alabama is the first of its kind in the state of Alabama, mentioned Jordan Vickers. Yet, the organization has chapters in 17 coastal state and has over 100,000 members. The CCA works to do anything from help scientific studies, to building artificial reefs, to defending net bans and anything in between.
According to the CCA’s website, it started as a non-profit organization after overfishing devastated the populations of redfish and speckled trout off the coast of Texas. It has since then grown to be a big player in national debates about coastal issues and spread across the nation. For information about current issues the CCA is involved with, visit their website at joinCCA.org.
As far as getting students involved, the campus chapter has reached out on social media says Austin Barrington, and has conducted some events at local breweries and bars here to gain support. The group also advertised in various outdoor recreation classes in New College. So far the group has 29 students that are involved and range from all ages and have expanded beyond the fraternity that the executive board is in.
The group does not yet have consistent meetings for all members but have conducted a handful of meetings. The members are involved in planning their first big banquet that will be this fall but the date and location are to be determined. However, keep an eye out for information on the group. If it is hard to find someone who does not enjoy the beach, it will be hard to find someone who does not think the beaches are worth protecting.