THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
ODFW will host an online meeting Wednesday, June 24 from 1-3 p.m. to discuss a draft spending plan (find at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CARES/) for CARES Act funding including information on eligibility and how to apply. Marine and coastal fishery sector businesses who have experienced economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to join the meeting to learn more.
After a presentation of the CARES Act and Oregon’s draft approach for eligibility and application, participants will have an opportunity to provide brief feedback and ask questions. Comments on the draft plan can also be sent firstname.lastname@example.org if received by June 26, 2020.
ODFW anticipates that nearly $16 million in federal relief aid will be available for Oregon’s marine and coastal fishery sectors experiencing significant economic impacts from the global COVID-19 pandemic (loss of greater than 35 percent gross revenue as compared to prior 5-year average). The relief aid slated for Oregon is part of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to states, Tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected. ODFW is the lead State agency working with fishery participants to coordinate aid.
Fishery participants potentially eligible for funding from the CARES Act include Oregon-based commercial fishing and processing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, and gear and bait retailers if that is their business’ primary source of revenue. Eligibility 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 will also be eligible for CARES Act aid but through another allocation and process not coordinated by ODFW.)
ODFW anticipates submitting Oregon’s spending plan to the federal government (NOAA) by the end of June for federal approval. Once approved, ODFW anticipates the application period will begin mid-July and extend for one month. Applications must be submitted to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission for review, approval and fund disbursements. ODFW anticipates disbursements will begin late August or early September 2020.
“We encourage any marine and coastal related fishery businesses who want to learn more to join the meeting,” said Ed Bowles, ODFW Fish Division Administrator. “We want to submit our final spend plan for NOAA approval by the end of June and need your feedback to make this work and get some relief to your businesses which are a vital part of Oregon’s economy, culture and community.”