February 27, 2014
NEW BEDFORD — The five New England states with commercial fisheries will receive $32.8 million of the $75 million targeted for fisheries disaster relief by Congress, the region’s legislative delegation announced today.
Three million was earmarked for Hurricane Sandy relief in New Jersey and New York.
The money was included in the omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in January.
The Commerce Department decided decision to waive the 25 percent state match requirement for receiving disaster relief.
The $75 million is half of what the representatives of fishing ports wanted, but it does represent the first time any money at all has been directed at the stricken Northeast fisheries since the Commerce Secretary declared an economic disaster in September of 2012.
John Bullard, administrator of the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (formerly the Northeast Regional Office), said in a statement, “We realize that for some no amount of funding would be sufficient to address the full economic impacts of these disasters, but hopefully this will help with immediate needs.”