Sam Elliott isn’t huge on soaking in the spotlight, by his own admission.Nonetheless, the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA) recently deemed him quite worthy of it, naming him the 2017 Albert Bankston CCA Louisiana Volunteer of the Year, which is awarded each year to someone who has gone to great lengths to volunteer their time and efforts for the organization’s cause. The award is named for Albert Bankston, an original member of CCA and a 2011 CCA Louisiana Hall of Fame Inductee.
“I was speechless, and I’m still speechless,” said Elliott, who lives in Luling. “I really don’t think I deserved it. There are people who do more than me that probably should have gotten it. It’s not just me with the things I’m able to do. I wouldn’t be able without the committee I have and the guys and girls on my committee who help me so much, being able to do the other little things that people don’t see. But I am incredibly honored, for sure.”
Elliott has served for the past decade in numerous volunteer roles for the organization, including his role as long-time River Parishes Chapter President.
CCA’s stated purpose is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.
“We host fishing seminars, banquets, youth days, just to get word out that CCA is here to make fishing better,” Elliott said. “We’re not a fishing club. We’re not here to catch the most fish, we’re here to make sure the fish are still here after we’re gone, (and) that our kids have the same resources we do.
“A lot of people miss that message. They think we’re a bunch of rich guys who want to catch more fish. That’s not what we’re about.”
Elliott has been part of the team behind the organization as it has put on youth outreach events and in constructing habitats for fish to have a sustainable ecosystem.
Elliott said the overall CCA cause has gained more and more importance to him as he’s grown.
“I didn’t fish much when I was younger,” he said. “But the more I started fishing, the more I started seeing CCA stickers and when I realized what they were about, I felt that was an organization I could put some time into and feel good about it.”