Designated Port Area Bulletin - June 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. CZM and the Executive Office of
Environmental Affairs (EOEA) are also administering the
distribution of the Seaport Bond Funds. An update of activities
on these major initiatives is given below.
The CZM Port Planning Initiative
Consistent with Weld/Cellucci Seaport Action Plan, Port Plans are
being developed for Gloucester, Salem, New Bedford, 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
Port planning is a two-step process, beginning with the
development of a Scope, or work program, for the Plan. The
second step is the development of 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.
Much work has been accomplished by the four ports and state
agencies since March. Here's an overview:
New Bedford/Fairhaven - In February, EOEA Secretary Trudy Coxe
approved the Scope for the New Bedford/Fairhaven Port Plan. With
an approved Scope, New Bedford and Fairhaven recently advertised
for a consultant to prepare a Port Plan, funded by the Seaport
Bond Bill. The New Bedford/Fairhaven Scope, developed in
partnership with the communities, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, and CZM, is serving as the model for the other three
Gloucester - Gloucester submitted a draft proposed Scope to
Secretary Coxe in March, which triggered a 30-day public comment
period. As part of that comment period, Gloucester held a public
scoping session on April 16. The Scope was revised in response
to public comments. On May 27, the Gloucester Harbor Master Plan
Committee unanimously voted to recommend this revised Scope for
Salem - Salem submitted a draft proposed Scope to the Secretary
at the end of April. A public scoping session was held on May
28. After Salem's public comment period ends on June 9, CZM and
representatives of the Harbor Planning Group will take the public
comments received into consideration in recommending a final
Scope for Secretarial approval.
Fall River - Fall River submitted a draft proposed Scope to the
Secretary in April and held a public scoping session at the end
of April. CZM and representatives of the Harbor Planning Group
reached agreement on a Scope revised in response to public
comment. This final Scope will be recommended to the Secretary
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.
The MaGuire Group, in association with several subconsultants,
has been working since December to develop the technical
information required to initiate the development of Environmental
Impact Reports (EIRs). The EIRs will identify permittable, long-term
disposal sites for the disposal of dredged material from the
four urban ports. Most of the necessary data have been
developed, and the MaGuire Groups is now in the process of
assembling the information to create an "existing conditions"
profile of the ports, to identify opportunities and constraints
regarding disposal sites, and to identify the most practicable
disposal sites to be carried forward for formal review.
Data completed or being finalized include:
- Initial volumes of material suitable and unsuitable for
ocean disposal (which determines the necessary size of
the disposal site).
- Potential alternative disposal technologies (an
analysis to determine the cost-effectiveness of high-
tech disposal methods, such as making construction
aggregate from contaminated sediments).
- A natural resource inventory (to determine potential
impacts of disposal sites on significant resources like
fisheries or eel grass).
- The initial universe of potential aquatic disposal
sites (based on physical capacity only; resource and
human use data will be overlayed to screen out
Seaport Bond Funds
CZM/EOEA released hundreds of thousands of dollars of Seaport
Bond funds over the last few months. The following projects have
been funded to date.
Newburyport Waterfront Planning Initiative - Newburyport received
$50,000 in January to develop a preliminary scope for a harbor
plan, draft waterfront zoning ordinance, and draft framework for
waterfront easements. This initiative will help Newburyport in
investigating current issues surrounding development of the
waterfront. The city has expressed interest in working with CZM
on a developing an approved scope and harbor plan.
Salem Wharf Feasibility and Engineering Studies - Salem received
$110,000 to conduct marketing analysis and engineering
feasibility studies regarding the development of a cruise ship
terminal. The results of these studies will be used during the
development of the city's harbor plan, expected to commence in
late June, following the EOEA Secretary's approval of the Scope.
South Boston Drydock - To improve the safety and efficiency of
Drydock #3 in South Boston, Boston Ship Repair, Inc. will receive
$235,000. The funds will be used for a new generator, as part of
a half-million dollar renovation effort. These renovations will
safeguard jobs for hundreds of local residents and reduce the
environmental impacts of the facility.
Kingston Town Landing Docks - Kingston received $32,000 to
replace existing old wooden docks at Town Landing on the Jones
River. The new docks will be made of aluminum for longer life
and modular to allow easy installation and removal every year by
the town. The docks will be ideally suited to facilitate boating
activities in the municipality.
Provincetown Pier Management Study - Provincetown received
$50,000 from Seaport and $25,000 from Massachusetts Office of
Business Development to develop a business plan for creating an
authority to manage MacMillan Pier to ensure that it is
financially self-supporting and meets the needs of the town. The
study will also look into permitting issues for future pier
Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) Simulator - MMA in Buzzards
Bay will receive $300,000 this year to update its port simulator.
The simulator is used as a training and planning tool, which
simulates the maneuvering of a shipping vessel through advanced
computer and visual technology.
New Bedford/Fairhaven Engineering Studies - New Bedford and
Fairhaven were awarded $45,000 to finance harbor engineering
studies for municipally-owned wharves. The studies, which will
be completed by June 30, include a needs assessment of
improvements to the city piers, a feasibility study for a cold
storage facility, and cost estimates for fendering improvements
to Union Wharf.
Massachusetts Fishermen's Association - Seaport Bond funds have
been made available to the Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership
to match a $2,000,000 federal grant. The $200,000 in Seaport
Bond funds will support the construction of an economic
development plan for Massachusetts fishermen and to establish a
voluntary vessel brokerage system of Massachusetts fishing vessel
to international markets.
Aquaculture - An Inter-Service Agreement has been completed with
the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Environmental Law
Enforcement to promote the following aquaculture projects:
Northeast Aquaculture Center in Salem, Barnstable County
Aquaculture, Nantucket Harbor Life, a Fish Auction, and the
Westport Scalloping Project.
CZM Technical Assistance Staff
Several CZM staff members are actively involved with providing
technical assistance to Gloucester, Salem, New Bedford/Fairhaven,
and Fall River to develop their Port Plans and resolve their
dredging issues. The following is a list of these staff
- Deerin Babb-Brott, Dredge Planning Coordinator, 617-626-1200, ext. 403.
Deerin oversees the development of
the Dredged Materials Management Plan.
- Andrea Cooper, North Shore Regional Coordinator, 978-281-3972.
Andrea serves as a liaison between CZM and
Gloucester, Salem, and the other North Shore
communities on port and harbor planning and other
- Dave Janik, South Coastal Regional Coordinator, 508-946-8990.
Dave serves as a liaison between CZM and
New Bedford, Fairhaven, Fall River, and the other
communities from Scituate to Seekonk (excluding Cape
Cod and the islands) on port and harbor planning and