U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) is pleased to announce the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $1.5 million to the Oregon State Department of Agriculture (ODA) through the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program. Congressman Schrader helped secure the grant’s funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
The funding awarded to ODA will help support seafood processing facilities and processing vessels preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our fishing and seafood industries, which are critical for Oregon’s coastal communities and economy. I have been a leader in Congress to secure federal funding to provide these essential industries relief and extra protections for their workers,” Rep. Schrader said. “The Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant heading to our state will be instrumental in supporting Oregon’s seafood processors, facilities and vessels with the tools and resources they need to fully recover from the COVID crisis and continue to provide among the best seafood products in the world.”
“USDA is working with agricultural and food businesses to ensure that, following the pandemic disruptions, they have the resources and tools to continue building more and better markets, and to thrive in 2022 and beyond,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “This funding for seafood processors and processing vessels will serve as a bridge, providing relief to an industry that was greatly affected by the pandemic as well as the resulting changes in consumer demand. This program is part of our larger pandemic assistance program, providing support to producers, distributors, processors and other small agricultural businesses to get our food system back on track.”
“We appreciate actions taken by Congress and the USDA for the continued support of our seafood industry throughout the pandemic,” said Alexis Taylor, Director, Oregon Department of Agriculture. “Our seafood sector invested in protecting their workers and sustaining local economies by responding to market changes and consumer demands. These funds provide a level of relief and allow our seafood producers to continue to provide high-quality seafood consumers around the world know and love.”
Congressman Schrader has led multiple letters and endlessly advocated on behalf of Oregon’s fisheries during these unprecedented times. At the onset of the pandemic, Congressman Schrader joined Democrats and Republicans in sending a letter to House Leadership in support of the American seafood industry. Representing a large portion of the Oregon Coast, Congressman Schrader remains committed to protecting the state’s coastal environment and economy.
Congressman Schrader’s letter to House Leadership in support of the American seafood industry can be found here.
A complete list of the SPRS grant recipients can be found here.