PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will begin accepting applications for federal CARES Act fisheries assistance funding on Monday, September 14. The application period will be limited to 15 days, with a firm deadline of Monday, September 28.
A total of $3,167,923 in federal funding assistance is available for eligible participants in the Rhode Island commercial and for-hire fisheries, including commercial harvesters, commercial aquaculturists, seafood processors/dealers, and for-hire vessel/business owners. Applicants must be Rhode Island residents and at least 18 years of age, and meet the following eligibility criteria:
? Must have owned a properly licensed business in 2020 that was engaged in one or more of the four fishery sectors, noted above, between March 1 and May 31 during one or more years over the five-year period 2015-2019; and
? Must have incurred, as a direct or indirect result of the coronavirus pandemic, a documented fishery-related loss in revenue, during the period between March 1 and May 31, 2020, greater than 35% relative to average fishery-related revenues earned during the same 3-month period over the prior 5 years (2015-2019), or active portion thereof if fishery-related revenues did not encompass the entire 5-year period. All applicants must complete the application form titled "Federal CARES Act – Fisheries Relief Affidavit and Application for Eligible Fishery Participants from Rhode Island," issued by the Department. The application form may be downloaded and printed from DEM's Marine Fisheries website at: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/marine-fisheries/Fisheries-CARES-Act.php.
Applications may also be picked up at the following locations from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays:
? DEM Division of Coastal Resources, 301 Great Island Road, Narragansett
? DEM Division of Marine Fisheries, 3 Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown
? DEM Office of Technical and Customer Assistance, 235 Promenade Street, Providence Fully completed applications must be hand-delivered to one of the three DEM offices listed above no later than 4:00 pm on Monday, September 28. No applications will be accepted if they are submitted after the September 28 deadline.
Because applicants need to reference verifiable data in their applications to substantiate their claims, prospective applicants are strongly advised to request their landings and sales data from DEM right away, well in advance of the application deadline. A data request portal is currently available at: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/marine-fisheries/Fisheries-CARES-Act.php. The portal will close on September 23, 2020, five days before the end of the application period.
All information pertaining to the program, including the application process, is detailed in the Emergency Regulations Governing the Administration of Federal Fisheries Relief Funding Provided to the State of Rhode Island Under the CARES Act, 250-RICR-90-00-16, filed with the Rhode Island Secretary of State by DEM Director Janet Coit on September 9, 2020.
For additional information pertaining to the program, visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/marine-fisheries/Fisheries-CARES-Act.php, or contact the Division of Coastal Resources (401-782-4587) or the Division of Marine Fisheries (401-423-1920).
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.