- Division of Marine Fisheries
Dan McKiernan, Kevin Creighton, Michael Armstrong, Jeffrey Kennedy, Story Reed, Darlene Pari, Melanie Griffin, Jared Silva, Nichola Meserve, Anna Webb, Christian Petitpas, Erich Druskat, Maren Budrow, and Stephanie Cunningham recently received the Department of Fish and Game’s Pride and Performance award for their work on the CARES Act Fisheries Relief Program. The CARES Act Team was also nominated for and selected to receive the 2020 Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. Through the CARES Act, Massachusetts received $28 million in federal grant money to distribute amongst fishing industry participants negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. DMF worked with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to finalize the required MA CARES Act Fisheries Relief Spending Plan, approved by NOAA Fisheries on July 29, 2020. The Massachusetts plan was developed through a public process with significant industry participation. Using this relief plan, Massachusetts worked with NOAA Fisheries, ASMFC, and the seafood industry to send out applications and get the funding out as soon as possible. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to distribute funds received from the CARES Act to the fisheries industry.
Susan Boehler, Diane Regan, and Florence Cenci received the Department of Fish and Game’s Pride and Performance award for outstanding work performing lab duties despite the pandemic to ensure samples were processed and shellfish areas could remain open throughout the Commonwealth. DMF labs maintained uninterrupted operations with no compromise in the quality or timeliness of results. This commitment allowed shellfish growing areas within 65 Massachusetts cities and towns to remain open to shellfish harvest. A primary goal of the Division of Marine Fisheries as noted in the Mission Statement is to ensure the availability of diverse, healthy seafood that supports our coastal culture. Without the outstanding contributions of these three dedicated employees, Massachusetts would not have open waters to safely harvest shellfish for human consumption.