Alabama receiving $12M in federal money to help seafood businesses
Governor Kay Ivey highlighted Wednesday that Alabama will receive $11,946,730 in federal funds intended to relieve recent financial strains on the state’s fisheries and other seafood industry businesses.
Part of the money, $3,299,821, is federal CARES Act funding that is designated to provide relief for seafood companies hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ivey also said that Alabama will be receiving $8,646,909 in fishery disaster assistance from a pre-existing program overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Monday.
The CARES Act is the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that Congress passed in an attempt to stabilize the economy during the pandemic. The $3.3 million highlighted Wednesday is separate from the funds that legislators and the governor sparred over in recent weeks.
The $8.7 million in NOAA money is designed to help fisheries hurt by the flooding Alabama experienced in 2019, and is not a part of the CARES Act. The payment comes after a July 2019 request by Ivey for assistance in the matter.
“The Gulf and its fisheries are vital to Alabama’s economy by providing jobs for fishermen, processors, and others in the seafood industry,” Ivey said Monday in a release publicizing the new funds.
The governor’s office emphasized “commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, seafood processors, and the fishing ecosystem and environment” as potential recipients of the money.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is working with NOAA on eligibility guidelines for the relief money.
ADCNR Commissioner Christopher Blankenship praised Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) for his assistance in procuring the funds.
“When approved, we will announce the application period and the requirements for eligibility to the public,” Blankenship advised the public.
“We are thankful to provide this much needed relief to those affected in our coastal communities,” concluded Ivey.