WASHINGTON, D. C.--Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced the inclusion of the $75 million in fishery disaster funds in the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The bill will make funding available to commercial and recreational fishermen who suffered damage from Superstorm Sandy and other disasters declared in 2012 and 2013
"This funding will be critical in supporting New Jersey's fishermen and fishing communities," said Pallone. "Since Sandy hit our coast, I have been fighting for fishery disaster aid to assist our recreational and commercial fishermen. These funds can be used for rebuilding marinas, docks and other fishery related infrastructure, as well as to help collect data to assist fishermen."
At Pallone's urging, Acting Secretary of Commerce, Rebecca Blank, declared a federal fishery resource disaster in New Jersey on November 16, 2012, so local fishermen and businesses could get much-needed federal assistance in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Last March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a fisheries disaster assessment report estimating that Sandy caused total uninsured losses of $78 million to $121 million in New Jersey and $77 million in New York. Following the release of these estimates, Pallone introduced the bipartisan Sandy Disaster Fisheries Relief Act, which would have appropriated $193 million to fully fund the estimated cost to recover Sandy affected fisheries.
The $75 million comes in addition to the $5 million already appropriated for fishery disaster relief in New York and New Jersey through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.