Baker-Polito Administration Announces Seaport Economic Council
BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the establishment of the Seaport Economic Council to guide the Commonwealth in realizing a shared vision of a strong maritime economy that leverages coastal assets. The Seaport Economic Council will focus on the strengths of Massachusetts coastal communities and the opportunity the maritime economic sector represents, with consideration given to the resilience and sustainability of coastal areas.
“The Seaport Economic Council demonstrates our commitment to promoting economic prosperity in cities and towns of all sizes,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to the robust role coastal communities can contribute to job and economic growth in the Commonwealth.”
The Seaport Economic Council will challenge the 78 coastal communities of Massachusetts to leverage their unique geographic advantages in order to grow jobs and the economy, while preparing for the future to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will chair the Council.
“The maritime economy remains a vital part of Massachusetts and presents an untapped potential for growth in this sector,” stated Lieutenant Governor and Council Chairwoman Karyn Polito. “The Council will prioritize innovation in creating ‘blue’ or ocean-based jobs, partnerships with public education institutions, local maritime planning efforts, and supportive coastal infrastructure projects that meet standards of resilience and sustainability.”
Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, a former Mayor of Gloucester, shall serve as Vice Chair of the Council, and the remainder of the Council will be comprised of municipal leaders, representatives from coastal communities, trade associations representing the maritime economy, and senior level staff from the Commonwealth’s Departments of Transportation and Energy and Environmental Affairs.
“From deep water port cities to beach towns, the coastal communities of Massachusetts have long benefited from focused investment in the maritime sector,” said Carolyn Kirk, Council Vice Chair and Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “The Seaport Economic Council will further the maritime economic objectives of coastal communities and in a way that considers the environmental, educational and sustainability needs of these communities.”
"Salem's economy has thrived in part due to targeted grants from the Commonwealth focused on growing our maritime businesses and services,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “We are excited that the Baker/Polito Administration is continuing this focus."
“Quincy boasts 27 miles of beautiful shoreline and a great deal of coastal needs and opportunity, so I am very grateful for this appointment to the Seaport Economic Council,” said Quincy Mayor Tom Koch.
“The expanded focus on jobs and economic growth in the maritime economy is good news for Gloucester,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “We are especially excited about prospects for projects related to the seafood industry which is a direct support to our fishermen.”
Additional council members will be announced in the coming weeks.