Zeldin: "Ensuring Long Island’s fishermen and shellfish farmers have access to the resources needed to sustain and grow their businesses is more critical than ever."
Patchogue, NY - November 7, 2017 - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), co-chair of the bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus and member of the Congressional Shellfish Caucus, announced today that New York State Sea Grant has been awarded $103,593 in federal funding by the NOAA National Sea Grant Program. This funding will be used to support the seafood and aquaculture industry, as well as to foster relationships between the industry and next generation of fishermen and other seafood professionals. New York Sea Grant is headquartered at SUNY Stony Brook in New York’s First Congressional District.
Congressman Zeldin said, “I am proud to announce that federal funding has been secured for New York Sea Grant, a crucial program that provides resources to our local anglers and businesses, which will be used to support this vital industry and help preserve our cherished tradition of saltwater fishing. Here on Long Island, fishing is a treasured part of our life, culture, and economy. With imported seafood making up 90% of American seafood consumption, ensuring Long Island’s fishermen and shellfish farmers have access to the resources needed to sustain and grow their businesses is more critical than ever to keep seafood jobs on Long Island and to help the industry grow.”
"New York's aquaculture industry is going through a growth spurt, especially commercial shellfish aquaculture on Long Island. To sustain this grow, the industry will need access to a workforce of young, well-trained seafood and aquaculture production professionals. The internship program to be organized by New York Sea Grant with the awarded funds will ensure that this cadre of new workers is there when the industry needs them," said William Wise, Director of New York Sea Grant.
Founded in 1966, Sea Grant works with local shellfish farmers, fishermen, watermen, and other businesses in the coastal economy to grow and sustain their business models, connecting them to local resources to share best practices, and helping them navigate a complex patchwork of state and federal coastal zone management regulations through technical assistance. This past May, Congressman Zeldin voted to fund Sea Grant at $72.5 million (H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017).