Taking the Message of Restoration to ICAST
From exhibitors to buyers to reporters, more than 9,000 representatives from the global fishing community recently converged on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando for ICAST, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, which is produced by the American Sportfishing Association. Vanishing Paradise was there in full force, taking our message of restoring the Mississippi River Delta right to the heart of the industry.
With Congress’s recent passage of the RESTORE Act, several billion dollars from the Gulf oil spill penalties will soon be sent to the affected states. Our goal is to make sure an appropriate share of this money is used on projects benefiting the fish and wildlife of the Mississippi River Delta, so hunters and anglers all over the country can reap the rewards. There’s no question we will need support from the sportfishing industry to make this a reality.
Professional B.A.S.s. angler Mike Iaconelli is a big supporter of restoring the delta.
We spent plenty of time at the event thanking all those who have helped to this point—including Plano Molding, WileyX, Top Brass Tackle, Pure Fishing, Quantum Tackle and Mike Iaconelli—who have signed on to our letter to Congress, alerted the media, or traveled to Washington D.C. to speak to their senators.
Each ICAST highlights fishing’s greatest threats and galvanizes anglers, manufacturers and media across the nation to remain active in the fight for healthy habitat and fishing opportunities.
At this year’s ICAST, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe joined the American Sportfishing Association and other partners in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR), one of the most successful partnership approaches to fish and wildlife conservation in U.S. history.
“The Service is proud to join our partners in recognizing more than seven decades of wildlife conservation and quality outdoor recreational opportunities,” Ashe said. “With our nation’s support and our partnership’s renewed commitment, WSFR will help more Americans enjoy wildlife and our great outdoors for many years to come.”
Vanishing Paradise hopes that the funds from the RESTORE Act will have a similarly positive track record when it comes to restoring habitat. With strong support from industry leaders and hunters and anglers across the country, we can make it happen.