Federal Government Providing Aid for Oyster Industry
PORT LAVACA, Texas (AP) _ The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared three coastal counties economic disaster areas because of the red tide that caused millions of dollars in damage to the oyster industry.
An aide for Republican Rep. Mac Sweeney said the SBA awarded the status Wednesday for Calhoun County on its second application. Jackson and Matagorda counties were included as contiguous counties.
Bryan Lee of Sweeney’s Washington office said the original application was rejected in February because red tide had been removed from the list of disasters by legislation in 1981.
The appeal was based on additional information on damage to oyster beds in San Antonio Bay resulting from freshwater flooding.
Calhoun County alone suffered estimated losses of more than $59 million, county marine extension agent Joe Surovik said. He estimated half the businesses in Calhoun County were affected.