Merkley, Wyden Secure Over $1.5 Million in Federal Funding to Strengthen Oregonian’s Seafood Economy Amidst the Ongoing Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a total investment of $1,532,089 million in grant money headed to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). These funds will be distributed to Oregon seafood processing facilities and processing vessels to cover expenses incurred preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon is among 24 other states that will be receiving this funding.

“Our seafood processors and fishermen have been dealt a significant economic blow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we need to make sure they keep producing for our communities,” said Merkley. “I am pleased our country’s seafood hubs, especially those in Oregon, are getting this much needed funding to help ensure they weather this coronavirus crisis. Not only do our fisheries deliver incredible products all around the world, they have also been the lifeblood of communities up and down Oregon’s coast for generations. I promise to never stop showing up for and supporting our fishermen and seafood processors.”

“The economic wake of this public health crisis has slammed hard into Oregon’s signature fishing and seafood processing industry that creates jobs along the Coast and statewide,” said Wyden. “I’m glad these federal resources are heading to Oregon to support these hardworking businesses so they get through the pandemic healthy economically, and their workers get through healthy physically. And I’ll keep working to make sure this traditional Oregon industry continues to receive the investment it needs to continue growing for generations to come.”

These grant funds are provided through the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program (SPRS), a program funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. SPRS grant recipients include state agencies, commissions, and or departments that oversee fisheries, seafood, agriculture, wildlife, commercial processing, and or related commerce activities that may be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.