Sen. DeGazon Updates Fishers on DPNR Disaster Grants
Sen. Allison L. DeGazon is urging fishers territory-wide to take advantage of available grant funding from the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
The Hurricane Disaster Relief Assistance Program for DPNR began on Monday, June 1.
DPNR will be processing hurricane disaster relief applications in Red Hook on St. Thomas, and Mars Hill for St. Croix.
“I am happy to finally be able to announce the application process for fisher disaster recover assistance is available. It has been a long bureaucratic process and it’s a relief to know the fishermen in our territory are finally getting the long-deserved help,” DeGazon said.
Applicants are encouraged to call 340-773-1082 to schedule an appointment or they can walk in from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.
All registered fishers are eligible for assistance.
“The USVI fishing community was devastated by the 2017 hurricanes. The goal of this funding is to restore the fishing industry to pre-hurricane conditions. DPNR is excited to support and enhance the resilience of the fishery with the long-awaited disaster relief assistance at this time. Thank you for your patience as we worked with NOAA and our local government partners on the implementation of this program” said Commissioner Jean-Pierre Oriol.
To qualify for financial assistance, fishers will need to present a valid 2017 business license issued by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, proof of employment in the fishing industry, and documentation of losses including receipts for any equipment already replaced.
Registered commercial fishermen with proof of losses and expenses docs are eligible for up to 75,000. Registered fishermen helpers without documentation are eligible for $2,500.
“I have been fielding calls and keeping the fishermen encouraged. I’m eager to support DPNR to get the funds disbursed,” DeGazon said.
Both DeGazon and DPNR will be on air Wednesday morning on the St. Claire Williams show with more information.
All fishers and fishing-related businesses are encouraged to visit the website, https://dpnr.vi.gov/fish-and-wildlife/fish/hurricane-disaster-relief-assistance/ for the most up-to-date information on the program, and to access application forms.
Application forms will also be available at DPNR offices. Weekly program updates will be available online or by phone.