Murkowski Fisheries Failure Funding Fight Secures Over $20M for Alaska
Senator’s Persistence in Building ‘Coastal Caucus’ Reaps Results After Uphill Battle
Last week in her speech to the Alaska State Legislature, Senator Lisa Murkowski cited her ‘Coastal Coalition’ of 38 Congressmen she built seeking federal relief from fishery failures as an example of her consensus-building in Congress and diligent, daily efforts for Alaska. Today, that fight finally has a dollar amount attached to it, headed to Alaskan communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and in Cook Inlet damaged by low Chinook runs in 2012: $20.8 million, as announced this morning by the Department of Commerce.
“Today is a great beginning to making our fishing communities whole, and I will be working to get this funding to Alaska as quickly as possible,” said Murkowski. “When the Coastal Coalition was able to secure $75 million to states in New England, down the East Coast and also along the Gulf of Mexico, that was the beginning of negotiations to make sure Alaska got its fair share – and I believe that getting more than a quarter of that total for our state will assist thousands of Alaskans who were affected by the disaster in 2012."
(Murkowski on Senate floor, January 2013 “I intend to push until the relief is provided” – CLICK for video of address.)
Senator Murkowski and the rest of the Alaska Congressional delegation will now work closely with the Governor’s office to devise a formula that allocates portions of the $20.8 million dollars judiciously across the state.
Murkowski’s Fisheries Disaster Funding Efforts
Today’s development marks the latest effort by Senator Murkowski to deliver resources and results to Alaska’s fishing communities reeling from 2012’s low salmon run – along with other national fisheries that have faced similar setbacks since then. Murkowski’s fight for fishery failure relief has included:
- Securing $75 million for Alaska and other statesthat have suffered federal recognized fishery disasters in recent years through this year’s Omnibus spending bill, a direct product of her:
- Building a bipartisan ‘Coastal Coalition’ of 19 Senators and 19 Representatives from states impacted by fishery disasters from New England ground fish down the Atlantic Coast states to blue crabs in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Having her amendment to the budget resolution adding fish disaster funds pass the Senate unanimously last March.