For Immediate Release - August 29, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $500,000 MassWorks Award to Manchester-by-the-Sea Harbor Dredging Project

Resources support growth in local lobster fishing and marina operations

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA – Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Brad Hill and Manchester Selectman Chairman Eli Boling to announce a $500,000 out-of-round MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to the Manchester Harbor Dredging Project, supporting a working harbor that brings in approximately $6 million in lobsters each year and two marinas that employ approximately 75 people. The project leverages a $1 million financial commitment from the town to begin work on the shovel-ready project during the upcoming September-February dredging season. A total of 24,676 cubic yards of harbor sediment is to be removed to restore the depth of the harbor areas to a minimum of eight feet wide at low tide.

This is the first dredging project to receive MassWorks funds from the Baker-Polito Administration, after it was announced this spring that 5% of MassWorks funding would be set aside for dredging projects awarded through a separate competitive grant cycle.

“The marine economy is an important opportunity for employment and growth in Massachusetts and it’s coastal communities like Manchester,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to this new dredging component building on the MassWorks program’s success in supporting local infrastructure and development needs that contribute to job growth for residents.”

“MassWorks is a critical resource for funding community-driven economic development projects throughout the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I want to congratulate Manchester for developing a shovel-ready plan we can support to ensure the blue economy continues to thrive here and all along Massachusetts’ coastline.”

Secretary Ash, in coordination with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, has met with many stakeholders and held two public listening sessions in Beverly and Plymouth related to the new dredging component of the MassWorks Program. Secretary Ash will incorporate feedback into the development of guidelines and an application for the dredging program. Guidelines and the application are expected to be released in the fall of 2017.

“Marinas and harbors up and down Massachusetts’ shoreline are a vital economic lifeline for cities and towns,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We are proud to begin supporting more shovel-ready dredging projects through our MassWorks Infrastructure Program, to grow our blue economy and create new jobs across our waterways.”

“Dredging and maintenance of navigable waterways is of critical importance to coastal communities on the North Shore,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester).  “Manchester Harbor supports both commercial and recreational boating for docking, mooring, loading and unloading of supplies, and harvested seafood.  Harbormaster Bion Pike and other Manchester officials have been uncompromising in their diligence and efforts to advance the project.  The BakerPolito administration has made significant progress on marshaling resources for dredging and this grant, the first of its kind in years, is testament to those efforts and will be vital to the success of the harbor’s dredging.”

“The Manchester Harbor Dredging project is a vital initiative for the community of Manchester-by-the-Sea and all those who utilize its waterways, both commercially and recreationally,” said Rep. Bradford Hill. “The Town and its Board of Selectmen have worked tirelessly for years to see this project come to fruition, and without the generosity of the Baker-Polito Administration and this MassWorks grant, it would not have been possible.”

“Resident volunteers have been working tirelessly with town officials to build a responsible long term plan to manage the dredging of Manchester-by-the-Sea’s waterways,” said Eli Boling, Board of Selectmen Chairman. “Our commercial fishermen, recreational boaters and ancillary businesses depend on the maintenance of this valuable resource. We are extremely gratified that the state has recognized our efforts with a grant that will help us support these businesses and residents.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation. 

In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $190 million to 90 projects in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

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