Katrina and Rita devastated the commercial, charter and
recreational fisheries industries in coastal Louisiana.
Much of the infrastructure that supported the industry along
the coast, which included docks, wharves, ice houses, loading
and offloading equipment, cold storage, processing, and
shipping facilities, and lifts, boat ramps and other critical
infrastructure to clean-up and remove vessels, was damaged
or destroyed. Louisiana’s fishermen and fisheries
related businesses suffered great financial losses with
estimates ranging from $580 million to almost $2 billion.
effort to assist recovery of valuable fisheries resources,
the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) has taken grant applications
from coastal community governments, fisheries organizations
and other cooperating groups who have submitted plans for
rebuilding critical fisheries infrastructure. The total
amount of the grants is $19 million to be distributed among
eligible coastal parishes: Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson,
Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles,
St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa,
Terrebonne and Vermilion.
parishes also will be divided into two regions, east and
west. The eastern region will include all listed parishes
from Lafourche east, and the western region will include
all listed parishes from Terrebonne west. Projects will
be selected and award amounts determined such that no less
than 35 percent and no more than 50 percent of the funds
are awarded to projects in the western region, and no less
than 50 percent and no more than 65 percent of the funds
are awarded to projects in the eastern region.
applications were due to the LRA on Dec. 14, 2007. The applications
will be reviewed by a selection committee and scored based
on the criteria outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP).
Awards should be announced in the spring of 2008. These
awards will be a huge step toward recovering Louisiana’s
coastal fishing industry.
Port of Cameron was included in a proposal for fisheries
infrastructure rebuilding. In terms of fisheries landings,
no port was as severely damaged. “Cameron, La., dropped
off the Top 10 list to rank 50th, or last place, with landings
declining from 243.1 million pounds in 2004 to 10.6 million
pounds in 2005,” according to News From NOAA –
Feb. 2, 2007.