Louisiana and Texas are eligible for up to $47 million in federal disaster aid to restore and rebuild their fishing industries and fish habitats, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced yesterday.
The two states were hit hard by hurricanes Gustav and Ike earlier this year. Under the plan, Louisiana is eligible for up to $40 million in aid, while Texas could receive up to $7 million.
"These two hurricanes hit communities that had not yet recovered from the disastrous Katrina and Rita hurricanes in 2005," says Jim Balsiger, acting assistant administrator for NMFS. "We are pleased that the states have shown a strong interest in using this aid to restore damaged oyster reefs, remove storm debris that hinders the shrimp industry, and to rebuild processing houses, docks, ice houses and other parts of the fishing infrastructure destroyed by the hurricanes."
The states will now submit plans to NMFS outlining how the funds will be used.