Gazebo Gazette

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) is waiving the permit fee requirement for the rebuilding and repairing of previously authorized, storm damaged structures until October 28, 2021, provided the structures are rebuilt within the originally permitted footprint and specification.

The property owner must submit an application and receive an authorization from the MDMR prior to beginning any construction.

Authorization from MDMR is not required for replacing damaged decking boards, roofs or any structures above the waterline.

Additionally, MDMR officials announced that Area 5 Approved growing waters was closed to the harvest of oysters beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, due to of Hurricane Zeta.

Area 5 Approved growing waters includes the 80-acre off-bottom oyster park south of Deer Island.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act applications for commercial and charter fisheries participants will open Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at 8 a.m. on the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) website at dmr.ms.gov/cares-act-assistance/.

Applicants must be a Mississippi resident 18 years or older and have possessed a valid Mississippi resident commercial fishing, dealer-processor or charter boat license during the July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, license year.

Applicants may only apply in one category and must meet the threshold of economic revenue losses greater than 35% (as required by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) compared to the prior five-year average.

If applying as a business, it must be domiciled in Mississippi and registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Participants must not be debarred, not on the government “do not pay list” and in good standing the with federal and state government.

Also, participants cannot have previously been made whole by other CARES Act funds.

Applications close Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

No late applications will be considered and there will be no appeals if the deadline is missed.

Funding allocation has been structured so that all applications submitted before the deadline will be considered.

The following information will be needed for the application process: contact information, email address, all applicable 2019-2020 fishing year license numbers, social security number or employer ID tax number and applicable revenue loss information. If using direct deposit, a check routing number and account number are also needed.

The process will require applicants to provide qualifying licenses and affidavits for self-certification of economic revenue losses greater than 35%.

The affidavit will require additional acknowledgements and self-certification with penalties outlined for false information.

A W-9 form, incorporated into the application, will also be required for payment and retained by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Fishery participant loss estimation and assessment will be for the period July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2019, by 12-month period (state fiscal year July 1 – June 30), compared to July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, or as deemed appropriate based on specific fishery information gathered.

The revenue loss does not have to be for the entire year but should cover January through June 2020. Applicants with less than five years of revenue between 2014 and 2019 are still eligible and should only include the revenue average for those years. The minimum consecutive time period for revenue loss review is 30 days.

For assistance submitting an application, contact the MDMR at 228-374-5000. For questions regarding the status of an application or payment, or if an email with completed individual application information is not received, contact Traci Floyd at 228-523-4068 or CARESAct@dmr.ms.gov.

The demonstrated need may far exceed the funds available for disbursement. The distribution of Mississippi’s CARES Act appropriation of over $1.5 million will be administered by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to assist commercial and charter fisheries participants.

Finally, MDMR certified a youth state  fishing record for the month of October. Rodie Lane Armes, 10, of Pass Christian set the  new youth state record for Needle Fish (Strongylura marina) using conventional tackle with a fish weighing 2.56 ounces.

“Rodie continues to add more state fishing records to his resume and we are proud of  him for a job well done,” said Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Executive  Director Joe Spraggins.

For more information, contact the MDMR Wetland Permitting Bureau at (228) 523-4106 or the main office at (228)432-3400.