Southeast Lawmakers Welcome Fisheries Disaster Relief Funds





Southeast Communities Will Receive Share of $56 million in Relief

 

Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka) and Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) welcome news that Alaska, including
Southeast, will receive $56 million in federal fisheries disaster relief funds.

The 2016 pink salmon fishery’s devastatingly low revenues were felt throughout the state, but the initial request for
disaster relief funds was limited to Prince William Sound, Kodiak, Lower Cook Inlet, and Chignik. Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins and Rep. Ortiz, parallel to the work of Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), successfully advocated for the inclusion of Southeast communities
in the governor’s disaster relief request through their letter of October 21, 2016. (Attached for reference.)

"The investment from the federal disaster relief funds will help the fishing industry which is so vital to Southeast economies
and communities, especially given the sobering run forecasts this year,” said Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins. “All this came about because fishermen contacted their legislators. We turned around and did our honest best to represent their interests and, fortunately, ensure
that Southeast Alaska was included with the rest of Alaska and got its fair share.”

“We heard from fisherman here in Southeast who saw a more than 50% drop in revenue,” said Rep. Ortiz. “I’m glad to see
that all of the communities affected by the 2016 pink salmon fishery disaster will be receiving compensation.”