SOUTHERLAND WELCOMES DISASTER FUNDS
TO APALACHICOLA OYSTER FISHERY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, II welcomed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s allocation today of $6.3 million in disaster assistance to Apalachicola Bay’s oyster fishery. Southerland has spearheaded congressional efforts to ensure North and Northwest Florida’s oystermen receive the critical relief they need in the wake of a 60% decline in the oyster fishery since 2012.
“I am thrilled that these relief funds are now on their way to helping the hardworking people who rely on Apalachicola Bay,” said Southerland. “While these resources represent an important victory, more must be done to save this cherished community. I look forward to building off today’s news and continuing our fight to restore Apalachicola’s oyster industry.”
Southerland coauthored a letter to congressional leaders last fall urging that North Florida’s oyster fishery receive disaster relief in the final FY2014 funding bill.
The funds will be made available later this week. Primary allocations will go to:
- $2.8 million for shelling by oystermen
- $1.75 million for shelling by barge
- $770,000 for processing facility updates
- $540,000 for vocational education and training
- $415,000 for monitoring of the Bay through Florida Fish and Wildlife Service
Contact: Matt McCullough, (202) 225-5235