The Coastal Conservation Association, Washington Chapter, has announced that Nello Picinich will lead the organization following the resignation of executive Director Bryan Irwin three weeks ago.
Picinich has served the chapter in the role of assistant director for the past four years, leading chapter fundraising efforts and fostering local chapter growth.
A CCA press release says that Irwin had served as executive director since 2008 and played a critical role in expanding the organization’s presence and developing a conservation advocacy program that emphasizes the role of recreational anglers as stewards of our marine resources and as an economic engine for the state. Irwin has, effectively, decided to take a time out to take an extended trip to South America.
“Bryan has a rare opportunity and has chosen to depart on a trip of a lifetime with his wife, Sande. We wish him the very best and owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership and tireless energy on behalf of Washington’s anglers,” said Stan Brogdon, president of CCA Washington. “We have done a lot of growing and maturing as an organization during Bryan’s time as executive director, and now it is our responsibility to build on that foundation. We are very fortunate to have Nello already on staff, and he has been extremely active both in chapter development and in our advocacy program.”
Irwin had until recently worked as executive director for both the Oregon and Washington CCA chapters. The Oregon and Washington chapters will continue to work together but with separate leadership. The Oregon chapter is now in the process of identifying a director.
Among many other achievements under Irwin’s watch, CCA Washington worked to establish a recreational priority for Puget Sound Dungeness crab, resulting in much longer recreational crabbing seasons; encouraged passage of legislation requiring mandatory reporting of lost and derelict commercial fishing gear and supported efforts to remove over 3,000 derelict gillnets from Puget Sound; was involved in securing a significant harvest rate reduction to restore the dwindling sturgeon population in the Columbia River; and helped defeat multiple legislative efforts to remove the current Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in retaliation for its efforts to promote conservation over harvest and to advocate for science-based selective fishing reforms.
“We are now positioned as one of the leading entities for conservation in the Northwest,” said Brogdon, “and we are making tremendous progress in our efforts to remove non-tribal gillnets from the Columbia River mainstem, implement hatchery reforms, and insert greater consideration of economics in state fishery management decisions. It is an exciting time, and we have no doubt Nello will do an excellent job keeping CCA Washington on track to accomplish its mission.”
Established in 2006, CCA Washington is one of 17 state chapters of the nonprofit Coastal Conservation Association, which has participated productively in state and federal fisheries management issues for more than three decades and has developed an “impressive list of conservation victories.” Comprised of 14 local chapters and thousands of members across the state, “CCA Washington is a true grassroots advocacy organization empowering its membership to drive meaningful change in the way our resources are managed.”