By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has declared fishing disasters for seven states on three coasts.
A brief news release Wednesday said a regional disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama because of “extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico.”
It had no details about declarations for Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina, except that those were for “multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019.”
Ross’ action makes people and businesses eligible for NOAA fisheries disaster assistance. Congress has appropriated $165 million for such help for fiscal 2019. The Commerce Department decides allocations to eligible fisheries.
Louisiana’s governor has said Midwestern floodwaters pouring into the Gulf of Mexico from rivers and a spillway have killed oysters, hurt fish catches and damaged livelihoods. Fresh water from the spillway affected Mississippi and Alabama.