Buffalo, NY

Second Round of Funding Adds $5.7 Million in Relief for Maritime Industries, Totaling $12.4 Million

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of the Peace Bridge over the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the addition of $5.7 million in federal funds to New York's Marine Fisheries Relief Program, encouraging eligible seafood, commercial marine fishing, marine aquaculture, and marine recreational for-hire fishing businesses to apply for the funding beginning December 1. This funding adds to the $6.7 million in assistance already offered by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, for a total of $12.4 million in aid for New York's marine industries.

"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt New York's commercial fishing industry which is reliant on vibrant tourism, dining, and recreational opportunities," Hochul remarked of the funding. "This funding is essential to assist businesses and coastal communities that have long played a vital role in the State's economic success. My administration remains committed to supporting marine fishing and seafood industries here in New York and will work tirelessly to ensure financial support is provided to all eligible candidates."

With New York’s marine resources supporting nearly 350,000 jobs and producing billions in tourism and other maritime industries, the total $12.4 million disbursement from the Marine Fisheries Relief Program was evaluated as such by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries based on total average annual revenues from state fishing businesses.

"For hundreds of years, New York State's fishing industries have shaped our economy and culture,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos of the funding. “These industries have experienced significant challenges and changes in recent decades, adapting to advancements in technology and the threat of climate change, while still providing valuable goods and services to New Yorkers. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged our economy in unexpected ways and will be felt for years to come, and the funding announced today will help ensure that the State's fishing industries have the opportunity to continue to build their legacy into the future."

First-time applicants to the program should review the Marine Fisheries Relief Spend Plan (PDF) posted on the DEC's website before applying, while first round applicants that received funding are again eligible for second round funding.

"This is a HUGE catch for New York's fishermen,” Senator Chuck Schumer commented of the funding. “I am proud to have hooked this historic $12.4 million in federal relief for businesses from the Great Lakes to the Long Island Sound. New York's marine fishing industry is still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and this dedicated assistance will help one of our oldest heritage industries leave troubled waters and set sail on a path to recovery and a brighter future."

The DEC will be taking funding applications through January 14, 2022. Once the application period closes, the DEC will also provide those denied the opportunity to appeal.

"As we continue to build back from this devastating pandemic, reestablishing our marine fishing industry, local tourism, and recreational fishing are essential in our economic recovery,” noted Representative Adriano Espaillat of the funding. “I commend Governor Hochul on today's efforts to allocate this additional round of federal funding to ensure these necessary federal resources are available to help restore our local offshore ecosystems while combating climate change through initiatives such as New York's Artificial Reef Program and building clean water infrastructure."

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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