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$16 Million in Aid Set for Oregon Coast Marine Fishery Businesses

Published 05/18/2020 at 5:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

$16 Million Set for Oregon Coast Marine Fishery Businesses

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(Oregon Coast) – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said it anticipates some $16 million in federal aid will be made available to Oregon’s marine-related and coastal fishery sectors impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

There is $300 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) relief aid plan set up for fisheries around the United States, and part of that will go to Oregon coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected.

Oregon and coastal businesses eligible for funding for the CARES Act include commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses.

ODFW will be taking the lead on working with fishery participants to coordinate the aid.

This particular branch of funding does not include businesses farther down the supply chain (including vessel repair businesses, restaurants, or seafood retailers), though these businesses may be eligible for other CARES Act aid. Tribal fisheries on the Oregon coast will also be eligible for CARES Act aid but through another allocation and process not coordinated by ODFW.

“These fisheries are a vital part of Oregon’s economic, cultural and community health, and many businesses directly supporting these fisheries have been severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” said Ed Bowles, ODFW Fish Division Administrator. “We look forward to working with those affected to provide some economic relief.”

First, NOAA must spell out the details, criteria and distribute the application materials before spending plans can begin. These will come from NOAA and its Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. That agency will then work with ODFW and affected parties to develop spending plans consistent with the CARES Act and NOAA’s guidance.

All spending plans must be approved by NOAA before funds can be distributed. The CARES Act requires distribution of funds no later than Sept. 30, 2021, but ODFW hopes Oregon’s spending plan and applications can be submitted to NOAA by early fall this year to begin the approval and disbursement process.

More information and the CARES Act and Oregon’s spending plan process will be available on ODFW’s Fish Division webpage (https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CARES/) once information and application materials become available.

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