Audit of Red Tide Grant Reveals Funds Properly Administered
BOSTON, MA —State Auditor Suzanne Bump today announced an audit of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries’ (DMF) administration of a $2 million federal disaster relief grant intended to aid shell fishermen affected by the 2008 red tide outbreak. The outbreak closed shellfish beds in 29 communities, resulting in substantial economic losses for individuals from 41 municipalities throughout the Commonwealth.
The audit found that DMF had properly accounted for all revenues and expenses under the grant, which was issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration following a request by Governor Deval Patrick. Since the award of the grant in 2009 through February 2, 2012, DMF had expensed $1.76 million of the $2 million awarded, including $1.2 million in lost income and health insurance subsidies for 263 qualified commercial shellfish harvesters. The remaining funds were allocated to increase the capacity of the Commonwealth’s red tide monitoring program.