|Mass.Gov Home Page||State Agencies||State A-Z Topic List|
Designated Port Area Bulletin - October 1997
Through the Four Ports Initiative, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is working with four major ports outside of Boston Harbor (Gloucester, Salem, New Bedford/Fairhaven, and Fall River) to meet future harbor development and dredging needs through advanced planning. The Seaport Advisory Council, chaired by Governor Paul Cellucci, unanimously endorsed the Four Ports Initiative and recommended full funding of these efforts through the Seaport Bond. CZM and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) are administering the distribution of these funds. An update of activities on these major initiatives is given below.
The CZM Port Planning Initiative
Consistent with Governor Cellucci's Seaport Action Plan, Port Plans are being developed for Gloucester, Salem, New Bedford/Fairhaven, and Fall River. This Port Planning Initiative is being undertaken by CZM, on behalf of EOEA Secretary Trudy Coxe, and is being coordinated with the Dredged Material Management Initiative (see below). To help move these critical port plans forward, the Seaport Advisory Council has met in Gloucester, Salem, New Bedford, and Fall River, providing each port the opportunity to speak about its planning efforts and port needs. In providing a forum for sharing information about the state's ports, the Seaport Advisory Council is fulfilling one of its key functions.
The first step in port planning is to develop a scope, or work program. The second step is to develop the port plan based on the scope. Both the scope and the plan are submitted to the Secretary of EOEA for approval. An approved plan allows a municipality to have greater flexibility in implementing a development strategy tailored to its port's needs and the community's vision. It also identifies fiscal needs for publicly owned infrastructure critical to the plan's implementation.
New Bedford and Fairhaven were the first of the four ports to complete a scope, which was approved by the Secretary in February, 1997. The New Bedford/Fairhaven scope served as a model for the other three ports. In Fiscal Year 1997 (FY97), CZM/EOEA hired a single consultant, ICON Architecture, to work with these three ports to develop their scopes. This task, which was funded under the Seaport Bond, has been completed.
Clearly, much work has been accomplished by the four ports and state agencies to date. Here's an overview by community:
New Bedford/Fairhaven - In April, CZM executed a contract with New Bedford/Fairhaven for local management of the planning project and for a harbor plan and an economic/market feasibility study of a freight ferry terminal in the Harbor. At the end of May, New Bedford/Fairhaven released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for both the local project manager and the harbor planning consultant. A project manager was selected and started working mid-July. Proposals for the harbor planning consultant were received at the end of June and the municipalities selected Vanasse Hangen and Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) in August. VHB began work on the harbor plan in September.
Gloucester - In June, the Secretary approved Gloucester's scope, which was unanimously recommended by the Gloucester Harbor Master Planning Committee. In July, CZM executed a two-year contract for the development of a harbor plan. CZM also executed a two-year contract for project management/coordination services. The Mayor then appointed a Harbor Plan Coordinator Selection Committee and a Harbor Plan Planning Consultant Selection Committee. With input from those committees, the City developed RFPs for the Gloucester Harbor Plan Project Coordinator and a Harbor Master Plan Planning Consultant. The RFPs were advertised in July. Interviews for the project coordinator position were held in September and the selection committee is expected to make a recommendation to the Mayor on September 23. The City received four proposals from consultant teams for plan development and the selection committee has held interviews and is expected to make a recommendation to the Mayor on September 23. A decision by the Mayor is expected by the end of September. The CZM Director and staff made a presentation on September 9 to the city council regarding the harbor planning and DMMP processes.
Salem - Salem's scope, which was unanimously recommended by the Salem Harbor Planning Committee, was approved by the Secretary in June. The scope identifies the issues to be addressed by the Plan and several specific development proposals for Salem Harbor made in prior plans that will be advanced as part of the current harbor planning effort. These include plans of the National Park Service for the Salem Maritime National Historic site, City efforts to upgrade the South River area, and plans for a deep water port, the New Salem Wharf. In July, CZM executed a two-year contract for project management/coordination services and the development of an approved Salem harbor plan. The contract incorporated the results of an agreement reached with the City concerning the integration of elements of a New Salem Wharf development proposal in the harbor planning process. Salem is in the process of developing RFPs for local project management/coordination and for consultant services to assist in final harbor plan development.
Fall River - The scope for the Fall River Harbor Plan was approved by Secretary Coxe in June. This scope defines a harbor planning process that will coordinate development of planning guidance for the Harbor and the adjacent Fall River Central Business District, while also satisfying a mandate of the state legislature to update the so-called LDR Report (Waterfront Study of Development Potential). The City issued an RFP for a harbor planning consultant in late June and received seven proposals on August 1. The Harbor Plan Selection Committee is currently reviewing proposals and interviewing prospective consultants. A decision is likely in the coming weeks. Earlier this September contracts were executed by CZM to fund plan development and local management of the planning project. The project manager began working in July.
The CZM Dredged Material Management Initiative
Ports seeking to dredge their channels must currently undertake a lengthy and expensive process to identify a disposal site for material that cannot be placed in open water. To solve this problem, CZM is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a statewide Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP). To coordinate with the Four Ports Initiative, the DMMP is focusing on Gloucester, Salem, New Bedford/Fairhaven, and Fall River.
CZM hired the MaGuire Group as the contractor to conduct Phase 1 of the DMMP, the inventory and analysis of existing conditions. Working under a contract authorized by the Seaport Council, the MaGuire Group completed Phase 1 this September, developing the technical information required to begin the process of selecting disposal sites in each of the ports. As one product of Phase 1, the MaGuire Group prepared a summary document of existing conditions, a profile of the ports that identifies opportunities and constraints regarding disposal sites, and identifies the range of disposal sites to be carried forward for formal review. (This summary document is available from CZM, see contacts below.)
Data finalized include: