La Dept of Wildlife to begin accepting applications for $14.6 Million CARES Act funds
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will begin accepting applications for $14.6 million in financial assistance that will be available to Louisiana fishermen and others in the industry who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, September 14.
The funds are part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and online applications will open at 8 a.m., Monday and remain open for the following six weeks.
The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. on October 26.
To access the application, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cares-act-assistance.
LDWF is aware that Hurricane Laura may have adversely impacted many individuals wishing to apply for this program and the organization will continually assess the application process and make adjustments as necessary.
The funds will be distributed as direct aid payments by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to those applicants who qualify. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently approved the department’s spending plan for the federal funding dedicated to the state’s fishing industry.
The CARES Act and NOAA Fisheries have established that to be eligible, participants:
- Must be a “Fishery Participant” – This includes tribes, persons, fishing communities, aquaculture businesses, processors, or other fisheries-related businesses. (NOTE: Gear and vessel suppliers, repair facilities, retailers, restaurants, and bait and tackle operations are not viewed as fisheries-related businesses. In addition, freshwater fisheries, including wild crawfish, are ineligible.
- Must have incurred economic revenue losses greater than 35% as compared to the prior 5-year average revenue. (NOTE: New businesses and entrants in 2020 with no prior revenue history are ineligible.)
- Must reside in the state that is providing funding.
The qualifying criteria are intended to include individuals directly affected by COVID-19 and not those who have either entered or exited the fishery prior to or after COVID-19, while also taking into consideration the impacts of the 2019 flood disaster.
Payments will be issued in a two-phase process that will include an initial minimum payment followed by a second payment, the amount of which will be determined by the funds remaining after all applications have been processed. LDWF will withhold a percentage of funding from each sector to ensure funding is available for every eligible applicant.
For more information, visit www.wlf.la.gov.
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