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Pallone: Fishery Disaster Funding Allocations Ignore Severity of Sandy

February 26, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D. C.—Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement today upon the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) announcement of fishery disaster funding for New England and the New York/New Jersey regions.  Pallone, whose district was one of the hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy, has called for much needed relief for New Jersey fisheries affected by the storm.  NOAA announced that it is allocating $33 million for the New England fishery disaster, which was unrelated to Sandy, and only $3 million to New Jersey fisheries hit by the storm.

“I am extremely disappointed by NOAA’s announcement of funding today for Northeast fisheries disasters.  The decision to allocate only $3 million for New York and New Jersey fisheries that were devastated by Sandy out of a total appropriation of $75 million is unfair and diminishes the true extent of the damage caused by the ‘once in a century’ storm.  

“New Jersey’s fishing industry is a critical driver of our state’s economy, which was harshly impacted by the Superstorm Sandy and I have repeatedly called on NOAA to make recovery of our fisheries a top priority.  Today’s announcement of only $3 million, which pales in comparison to the estimated losses of $121 million in New Jersey as a result of the storm, is insufficient and unrealistic.  In fact, NOAA reported that there was an estimated $193 million in total losses for New York and New Jersey fisheries combined.  I find it confounding then, that NOAA has only allocated such a small and inadequate amount of funding to help us recover when the agency itself identified a far more serious need.”