Louisiana native Chris Macaluso has joined the staff of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership as the TRCP’s marine policy director. Based in Baton Rouge, Macaluso will lead the efforts of the national sportsman’s group to advance policy that enables balanced management, conserves and restores habitat and provides recreational opportunities within the nation’s ocean and coastal ecosystems.
“Recreational fishing in America’s coastal waters and oceans is a tradition passed down through generations,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh. “Chris Macaluso not only is representative of this tradition; he has committed his career to conserving the coastal and marine environments upon which our fisheries depend. Now, he will be working with anglers, TRCP partners and policy makers to find and implement solutions to the challenges facing our marine fisheries management system.”
Formerly the coastal outreach coordinator for the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Macaluso worked closely with Ducks Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation on the Vanishing Paradise Campaign, a nationwide effort to engage sportsmen in advocating for the restoration of wetlands and barrier islands in the Mississippi River Delta. Prior to that, Macaluso oversaw communications for Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, including during the Gulf oil spill in 2010. An avid sportsman, he is a lifelong resident of south Louisiana.
“There is nothing I enjoy more than heading offshore with a rod and reel in hand,” Macaluso said. “I am honored and excited to be joining the TRCP staff and to have the opportunity to work with the sport fishing community in the Gulf region and beyond.”
Recreational fishing and the nation’s close to 9 million saltwater anglers drive an enormous economic engine. According to studies by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Sportfishing Association, saltwater anglers contribute more than $32 billion in economic activity annually, support nearly 250,000 jobs, and pay more than $4.2 billion in state and federal taxes.
“Recreational fishermen face many challenges,” Macaluso continued, “especially the loss of vital coastal and offshore fisheries habitat, as well as regulations that restrict access to the resource. I look forward to the chance to talk to fishermen and work with a host of recreational fishing groups to determine the best ways to meet the challenges ahead and ensure recreational fishing opportunities for generations to come.”
Macaluso will work out of an office in Baton Rouge, La. Among his most immediate challenges will be to make sure that recreational anglers are engaged in the Gulf restoration process stemming from the 2010 oil spill and that restoration funds go to high-priority projects that restore and conserve the Gulf’s fisheries.
Read the TRCP 2013 Conservation Policy Agenda.