Release Date: 02/21/2007

What:  Press Conference and Distribution of Grant Checks

Who:  Harlon Pearce Chairman, La. Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board
     Co-Chair Louisiana Fishing Recovery Coalition

Mike Voisin  Louisiana Oyster Task Force
     Co-Chair, Louisiana Fishing Recovery Coalition

Kevin Belanger CEO, South Central Planning District

Fred Palmer Manager of Communications, Shell Exploration and Production

John Roussel Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Fisheries
La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

When: Friday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.

Where: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Louisiana Room
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge

Why: The Louisiana Fishing Community Recovery Coalition's Back to the Dock program is officially launched with grants from private industry and collaboration with Louisiana Planning and Development Districts. 
A $250,000 donation from Shell Oil Company has enabled the South Central Planning District to evaluate applications and award grants to 45 fishermen.   Grant recipients and fishing industry leaders will be on hand to discuss the status of recovery efforts and plans to secure additional funding.

Estimates for hurricane-related damage to Louisiana fisheries exceed $400 million, according to the Center for Natural Resource Economic and Policy at LSU.

For more information, contact Sara-Ann Harris at 504-283-8292 or sharris@wlf.louisiana.gov.