On Wednesday, the Board of Public Works approved Larry Hogan's Funding for Seafood Marketing Program.
"This funding will assist with marketing Maryland blue crabs to help businesses recover lost income caused by federal cuts to the H-2B visa program, which has historically provided temporary workers for the industry, but in the meantime, we are doing all we can at the state level to support this iconic industry and the men and women who depend on it for their livelihood," explained Governor Larry Hogan.
In the past, the Hogan administration, along with Congressman Andy Harris, has urged the federal government to restore the H-2B visas for Maryland's seafood processors.
On April 23, Governor Hogan sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta encouraging this action.
The $375,000 given by Hogan's administration will help offset losses caused by the labor shortage. The money came from the state's contingent fund and it's going towards the Maryland Department of Agriculture's seafood marketing program.
The Department of Agriculture will develop a marketing campaign to push for more sales and enhance market opportunities. The campaign is consulting with the Seafood Marketing Advisory Commission, the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industry Association, and other stakeholders.
The campaign will shine a light on the well-established Maryland True Blue and Maryland.