Declaring it an “outrage,” New Jersey’s U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker issued a joint statement Wednesday following the announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that it was offering funding to six regions nationwide that suffered fishery disasters in 2012 and 2013.
Of the $75 million, only $3 million will be going to New Jersey and New York fisheries hit by superstorm Sandy.
“We are incredibly disappointed and dumbfounded by NOAA’s disaster-funding decision, which directly ignores its own reporting of the losses faced by our fishing industry in the aftermath of Sandy,” the Senators said in a joint statement. “By NOAA’s own estimate, our state suffered more than $120 million in losses.” They called the $3 million allocation a “slap in the face” to the New Jersey fishing industry.
The Senators had sent a letter earlier this month, after the $75 million appropriation, asking for special consideration for New Jersey.
The rest of the funding will be distributed to the New England Multispecies Groundfish Fishery ($33 million), Alaska Chinook Salmon fishery ($21 million), commercial fisheries in Mississippi after the 2011 river flood ($11 million), Florida Oyster fishery in the Gulf of Mexico due to drought ($6 million), and American Samoa fisheries following the 2009 Tsunami ($1 million)