Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank recently announced a fishery disaster declaration for New Jersey and New York from the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
The declaration applies to affected communities in New Jersey and New York, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Although the full extent of the damage to commercial and recreational fisheries and coastal communities hasn’t been determined, Blank’s action opens the door for Congress to appropriate money to alleviate the financial hardship the disaster caused.
If money is appropriated, NOAA will work closely with Congress, the states and affected communities “to help stem the cascading economic and social impacts of this storm,” NOAA announced.
The declaration came after legislators sent letters to Blank requesting federal support for the industry, which was crippled by the disaster.
The unprecedented storm had a "significant adverse impact on New Jersey's fishing industry," Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., wrote in a letter to the Commerce Department.
A clause in the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act can help trigger much-needed financial support from the Economic Development Administration, Christie wrote.