Storms extend Louisiana fisheries COVID-19 aid deadline

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Damage from Hurricanes Laura and Delta has prompted Louisiana to extend the deadline for fisheries' workers and businesses to apply for help under a coronavirus pandemic program.

Instead of ending Monday, the application period will now last through Nov. 23, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release.

“After a closer look at the damage left by hurricanes Laura and Delta to the fishing community, the department wants to ensure that everyone impacted by those hurricanes has ample opportunity to apply," Secretary Jack Montoucet said.

He said the extension will give those people more time to repair and get services to their homes and to take care of their families’ immediate needs.

The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission has $14.6 million in federal coronavirus relief money for Louisiana’s fishing industry.

Applications must be submitted online at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cares-act-assistance. The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission will send payments to applicants who qualify.

Applications for the program must have “Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries” at the top, the news release said. It said applicants getting businesses to help with their application should have them verify that they are applying for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act program managed by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The department said some people have applied to other programs thinking they were applying to the one it manages.

“If you need language assistance or assistance submitting an application, contact the South Central Planning and Development Commission” at 800-630-3791, the statement said.

The department can provide more information at 225-765-3980 or 855-262-1764.