Local News

Texas to Receive $13M in Federal Grants for Fisheries Recovery

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Announcing on Wednesday, June 20, that Texas would receive $13 million in grant dollars, Governor Greg Abbott stated that the federal funding was designed to rebuild both the recreational and commercial fishing sectors which were adversely affected as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

The funds were approved as a result of Abbott’s request in February to the U.S. Commerce Secretary, asking that he recognize a federal fishery resources disaster along the Texas coastline. “The economic impact of Texas’ commercial and recreational fishing industries is of tremendous importance to both residents and tourists alike,” the governor wrote in a statement of thanks following the approval of funds.

According to the Texas Almanac, statistics for 2015 revealed: “Total Texas coastwide landings in 2014 were 74.7 million pounds of seafood, valued at more than $262.6 million. In 2015, there were 80.4 million pounds of seafood, valued at more than $173.4 million. Shrimp accounted for most of the weight and value of all seafood landed.” Newer statistics will show a different story, as Texas Gulf Coast fishermen and women have struggled ever since the storm.

The contribution to Texas is a portion $200 million which was allocated by the federal government to those states that have been affected by declared fishery resources disasters. In Texas, the dollars quickly add up. In an assessment by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Matagorda County had between $300K and $3 million in damages under commercial and for-hire categories, Calhoun County had between $7.5 million and $10 million, and Refugio County had approximately $300K.