Commerce Secretary declares fishery disaster following Hurricane Harvey

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today determined a commercial fishery failure in the state of Texas after Hurricane Harvey caused a fishery resource disaster.

The determination was made in response to a request put forward by Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, on Feb. 14,

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 included $200 million for fishery disasters declared by the Secretary of Commerce in calendar year 2017 and for fishery disasters resulting from hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey.

             Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas last Aug. 25, caused a fishery failure when the storm and subsequent floods dumped fuel, sewage and debris in the region’s waterways.

Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas last Aug. 25, caused a fishery failure when the storm and subsequent floods dumped fuel, sewage and debris in the region’s waterways.

“The 2017 hurricane season was catastrophic for communities in Texas and for states along the Gulf of Mexico,” said Ross in a statement. "The Department of Commerce and the President are committed to working closely with Congress and the state of Texas to continue supporting recovery efforts for fishermen and local fishing businesses affected by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.”

Through this disaster determination, participants in Texas fisheries are now also eligible for Small Business Administration disaster loans.

Additionally, because these fisheries are in areas declared a presidential disaster, public fishery infrastructure-related losses are eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance.

Economic Development Administration grants as well as Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds are another potential source of assistance for fisheries pending allocations and grantee Action Plans.

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