WASHINGTON D.C. Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley recently secured $2.1 million in funding to help Oregon fisheries. The funds were finally allocated after a nearly two-year protracted battle with the Trump administration to approve Gov. Kate Brown’s request for fishery disaster declaration in May 2017.
“Hard-working Oregon fishermen gearing up for their spring returns have now received a $2.1 million lifeline that will help them support their families and contribute to the economy in their coastal communities,” Wyden said. ”From commercial trollers to marinas, Oregon’s coastal fishing community fully deserves this good news.”
“As salmon populations have declined, our fishing boats have seen more of the harbor than the ocean. That means lost jobs, lost revenue, lost businesses,” Merkley said. “That’s why we’ve been fighting for this disaster declaration. Using my position on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I fought for millions of dollars of support for communities suffering from fisheries disasters. Now, Oregon’s coastal economy can access that funding and take a step forward on recovery — paying their crews and bills, and keeping their businesses afloat for another season.”
Wyden and Merkley originally sent a letter to Trump in June 2017 following Gov. Brown’s request for the fishery disaster declaration for Klamath River Fall Chinook Salmon Fishery. They followed up with a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in March 2018 demanding answers on the lack of response from the Trump administration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finally issued the disaster declaration in September 2018.