February 2016 Seaport Economic Council Grant Awards

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced awards to Dartmouth, Gloucester, Harwich, Hingham, Nahant, New Bedford, Plymouth, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The $5.15 million in grant funding supports infrastructure improvements that focus on long-term resilience, planning efforts that aim to unlock significant economic growth potential, and research that could make clean energy more affordable for coastal communities.

Cape Cod Commission - $180,000
The Cape Cod Commission will use Seaport Economic Council funding to develop a plan for maritime economy expansion. This plan will focus on leveraging existing strengths, including a well-developed research community and a long history of entrepreneurship, to create regional economic growth and increase the number of non-seasonal skilled jobs.

Dartmouth - $1,000,000
Dartmouth’s grant will allow the town to purchase a parcel on its Upper Harbor for development as a welcome center, addressing a community-identified need for public waterfront access. The area will provide educational and recreational opportunities, and will complement the Town’s investment in Padanaram Village by drawing people to new restaurants and local businesses.

Gloucester - $151,000
Gloucester’s grant is focused on sustaining and improving the 40 percent of the City’s economy that relies on fishing, processing, shore-side services, and related businesses. It will allow to city to exhibit its seafood locally, regionally and nationally, and will support a branding campaign for “Gloucester Fresh Seafood.” Funding will also help the Fishermen’s Wives Association to procure additional contracts for Gloucester’s seafood with restaurants and institutions.

Harwich - $1,000,000
Harwich’s Seaport Economic Council grant supports the town’s efforts to repair the East Dock of the Municipal Marina. This includes significant repairs to the dock’s basic infrastructure, and the replacement of 74 boat slips. The investment supports residents and local businesses.   

Hingham - $700,000
The Seaport Economic Council’s grant will allow Hingham to build a Maritime Center on Bathing Beach that will support local recreational, commercial, and educational activities. It will allow the town the more effectively promote the Hingham Farmer’s Market and related events, will facilitate boat and paddleboard rentals to residents and tourists, and will provide space to highlight Hingham’s rich history.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy - $1,000,000
Funding for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will support the Pier Extension for Marina Dockage. This will increase the Academy’s capacity to deliver effective training, support educational opportunities, and partner with educational institutions to perform research and development. It will also allow the Academy to provide secure dockage for federal and state emergency response vessels.

Nahant - $410,000
The Seaport Economic Council grant to Nahant will reconstruct and stabilize protective walls around Tudor Wharf, to protect the livelihood of Nahant’s commercial fishermen and lobstermen. It will also replace the aging boat ramp and improve associated areas used for boat and equipment storage, support their recreational and commercial use.

New Bedford - $250,000
The grant will support planning efforts on the New Bedford waterfront and help identify opportunities for investment in infrastructure and site improvements. This will supplement efforts by the City to reduce barriers to private development along the waterfront and draw new business and jobs to New Bedford.

Plymouth – $219,322
Seaport Economic Council funding will help Plymouth to finalize engineering and permitting on its proposed Maritime Facility, and develop a harbor plan. As the second busiest state port and boat ramp in Massachusetts, Plymouth has the potential to leverage untapped economic growth in its harbor and build on a previous Seaport Economic Council Planning Grant awarded in 2009.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth - $239,898
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will use Seaport Economic Council funding to support research and development in wave energy. The research has the potential to dramatically reduce manufacturing and deployment costs associated with traditional wave energy generators, making devices smaller, easier to use, and more cost effective.


August 2016 Awards

On August 16, 2016, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council awarded $2.9 million in competitive grants to grow the blue economy and support job creation in coastal cities and towns. Funding will unlock increased economic activity and growth in Chelsea, Fairhaven, Quincy, and Swampscott, and will support technological innovation and education opportunities through Bunker Hill Community College, the John Adams Innovation Institute, and the University of Massachusetts.

Bunker Hill Community College – $150,000
Bunker Hill Community College will partner with College Bound Dorchester to foster awareness of the maritime economy sector among Boston’s youth, and will ensure that students gain the necessary skills and certificates – including carpentry, woodworking, electrical, and plumbing skills – to engage in maritime trades.

Chelsea Harbor Plan - $120,000
The City of Chelsea will prepare a Municipal Harbor Plan to allow for greater flexibility in waterfront development. This planning process will support Chelsea’s development of a strategic path to achieve its waterfront goals and objectives.

Fairhaven Union Wharf Improvements - $950,713
The Town of Fairhaven will use funds to construct Phase 2 of the West Wall Union Wharf Bulkhead Replacement and Improvements. The Wharf is within the Designated Port Area and is currently used by commercial scallopers, draggers and lobster boats. Improvements will allow the Wharf to accommodate additional commercial fishing, charter fishing, and public safety dockage.

John Adams Innovation Institute - $147,500
The Seaport Economic Council will partner with the John Adams Innovation Institute to implement the Council’s Innovation Grants Program in a way that maximizes successful investment in innovation-based economic development projects.

Quincy Maritime Center - $225,000
The City of Quincy will use grant funding to complete permitting, engineering, geotechnical services, and architectural designs for the Hough’s Neck Maritime Center Building.

Swampscott Harbor Plan - $50,000
The Town of Swampscott will undertake a harbor plan, integrating harbor and waterfront initiatives with existing town plans and developments. The plan will focus on identifying and prioritizing necessary coastal infrastructure improvements, evaluating proactive actions to address storm surge and sea-level rise, and encouraging the economic development of the historical waterfront.

University of Massachusetts Boston Urban Harbors Institute – $89,569
Significant economic growth potential exists in the Massachusetts seafood economy, but coordinated strategies and investments are required to realize this potential over time. The Urban Harbors Institute will research the details of these approaches and their applicability to the on-the-ground conditions in Massachusetts’ fishing ports.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth - $612,250
The project draws upon four leading marine and robotics technology organizations to develop new approaches to provide autonomy for unmanned underwater vehicles and prove their usefulness on key missions. This will be done in a collaboration between students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Northeastern University, and private research companies. This research and development will move the marine robotics sector forward, while engaging and educating students. This program will also provide key new research infrastructure, two undersea robots, for university research.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship –$250,000
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will upgrade its Mechanical and Prototyping Laboratory and Technology Venture Center to attract, support, and retain marine technology startups in southeastern Massachusetts. These facilities will leverage CIE’s experience working with marine technology startups, expanding on a successful program that has already spun out five marine technology firms into established Massachusetts businesses.

December 2016 Awards

Fall River - $1,000,000
Seaport Economic Council funding will allow Fall River to refurbish City Pier, a dilapidated and contaminated 4.5-acre parcel, and generate new private investment on the city’s waterfront. The $3.85 million project will construct new sheet piling and other pier and seawall infrastructure, and extend the public infrastructure needed to accommodate private investment on the pier. The public infrastructure will allow for the pier’s full environmental remediation, and allow a fully-permitted 125-slip marina, marine service center and restaurant development to advance.