Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) urges coastal fishing businesses in his district harmed by Hurricance Sandy to apply for available funding through the State’s recently approved Coastal Fishing Industry Grant Program. Under the program, eligible businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to cover uncompensated losses.
Assemblyman Thiele stated, “Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction to New York’s fishing industry. The East End’s commercial and recreational fishing industry was not spared. This industry, which is critical to the local economy and community, must rebuild. I thank Governor Cuomo for directing these federal funds to the fishermen in such great need.”
Fishing businesses can apply now by calling 1-855-NYS-SANDY. Fishing businesses that suffered damage and/or economic hardship as a result of Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee are also eligible for funding through the program. The $20 million program, designed to help the fishing industry recover, was part of the State’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan, which gained federal approval last month.
Sandy caused significant damage to the fisheries along New York’s coastline. It is estimated that damages to the coastal fisheries industry totaled $77 million ($58 million to the State’s recreational fishing sector and $19 million to its commercial fishing sector) due to Sandy.
In 2011, the State’s commercial fishing industry generated $5 billion in sales, contributed $1.8 billion to gross state product, and supported 42,000 jobs across the broader economy. The State’s marine recreational fishing industry generated $369 million in sales, contributed $212 million to gross state product, and supported 3,000 jobs across the broader state economy.
Fishing businesses may be eligible for additional grants and funding support through the State’s small business recovery program should uncompensated losses exceed $50,000, or for special mitigation grants to help them prevent similar damage from future storms.