Florida to Receive Federal Disaster Relief Funding Due to BP Oil Spill
Florida joins Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as states approved to receive federal disaster relief funds in response to the economic impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Florida's tourism and fishing industries. Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke signed Governor Charlie Crist's request for a fishery disaster declaration for Florida.
"Today I signed a fishery disaster declaration for Florida for the same reasons I declared a fishery disaster in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. All four of these Gulf Coast states have the potential to suffer significant economic hardship as a result of the BP oil spill," Locke said. "Today's disaster determination will help ensure that the Federal government is in a position to mobilize the full range of assistance that Florida fishermen and fishing communities may need."
NOAA recently expanded the commercial and recreational fishing closure zone to almost 37 percent of Gulf waters.
The fishery disaster declaration is based on a dramatic downturn in tourism, fishing charter business and Gulf seafood consumption resulting from misinformation and speculation about the oil spill's physical effects on Florida's waters. As of the date of this writing all Florida waters remain clean and oil free and guides report fishing has been excellent.