BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Many coast fishermen got some help from that $1.5 million of CARES Act money that was granted to the state of Mississippi, with most of that going to the seafood industry.
$734,222 of that money went to local commercial fisherman, $451,284 went to seafood dealers and processors, and $239,179 of it went to the charter boat fleet.
The seafood industry has had to deal with a litany of issues, most notably the 2019 opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway, where freshwater intrusion destroyed the ecosystem in the Mississippi Sound. Then there was COVID-19 and last summer’s very busy 2020 hurricane season.
At Tuesday’s Commission on Marine Resources meeting, Joe Spraggins, Department of Marine Resources executive director, explained the process of how $21 million in Bonnet Carré Spillway relief funding will get to those in the industry.
Spraggins said the state has put together a five-year plan on how to spend that money. The plan went to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association. Once that plan comes back from NOAA, then the state will reveal it to the public.
“This is a draft document, we took it to the governor and he ok’d it,” Spraggins said. “He understands, just like us, it’s a draft and it can be changed.”