US declares fisheries disaster for Sandy damage
The U.S. Commerce Department has declared a fisheries disaster in New York and New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the department announced in a release on Friday.
According to the release, the declaration allows Congress to allocate federal funds to assist those harmed by the storm.
“We are taking action because of the storm’s devastating impact on the people who live and work in coastal communities that were hit hard by Sandy. Many of these hardworking Americans depend on a robust fishing industry to support their families and local economies,” said Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “This disaster declaration is part of a coordinated federal effort to help the region rebuild. The Obama Administration is committed to bringing all available resources to bear to support state and local partners as well as affected communities as recovery continues.”
Funding, if approved, will be distributed with the help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“This disaster declaration is the first step in supporting these industries and communities up and down the East Coast as they continue recovery efforts,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco.
Three weeks ago, the Garden State Seafood Association, which represents about 200 boat owners and operators, restaurants and other seafood industry-related companies, applied for federal disaster aid for the area. At the time a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie’s office said the state would help seek that aid.