National Fisherman

Good news for local ports and economies arrived last week in the form of a federal budget deal that specifically includes a small pot of additional funds specifically for “small, remote, or subsistence harbors and waterways.”
 
Living on a coastline that epitomizes these terms, several Oregon and Washington ports ought to be in the running for funds to maintain their links to the Pacific.
 
n olden times – as in before about 2010 – members of Congress were able to simply earmark tiny slivers of the federal budget to throw a lifeline to small ports that are of pivotal importance to communities from Hammond and Garibaldi to Chinook and Ilwaco, Wash. (Though controversial, earmarks of all kinds totaled less than 1 percent of federal spending by the time they were effectively ended.)
 
In terms of broad funding philosophy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been allowed by lawmakers to focus even less attention on rural ports. Ports in Oregon, Washington and elsewhere are beginning to strangle on sediments that filter down into access channels and other crucial linkages that used to be maintained by the Corps and its contractors.
 
Before last week’s deal, there weren’t even funds for which these ports could compete. Thanks to effective lobbying and attention by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and others, the new Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) spending budget includes $30 million for the corps to maintain access to small ports.
 
Read the full story at Daily Astorian>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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