For Immediate Release - July 06, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates New Commercial Fishing Port in Chatham

Second commercial port in Chatham will increase capacity for local and commercial fisherman and mitigate effects of sea level rise

CHATHAM, MA – July 6, 2017 – Today Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito celebrated the completed renovation of Chatham’s second commercial port, the Old Mill Boat Yard. Chatham received a $1 million grant from the Seaport Economic Council (SEC) in 2015 to undertake significant repairs and improvements to the Old Mill Boat Yard, which supports commercial and recreational boating.

“Chatham is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet on Cape Cod, and the recently renovated Old Mill Boat Yard will increase capacity in Chatham for this important economic engine,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These targeted investments and municipal partnerships with our coastal communities support the blue economy and enhance job opportunities for Massachusetts’ residents.”

“The completion of this project provides substantial economic, environmental and recreational benefits to the Town of Chatham underscoring the importance of the Seaport Economic Council’s investments,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Council. “Through the council’s partnerships with municipalities, we are working to leverage the unique assets of our coastal communities, keep regional economies strong, and ensure our cities and towns are able to confront the challenges of sea level rise and climate change.”

The SEC grant complemented a $500,000 investment from the Town of Chatham, for the replacement of a deteriorated bulkhead system, new float systems, the installation of an environmentally responsible vessel wash down facility, improvement to Chatham’s shellfish seeding facility and amenities to enhance public use and access.

“The Old Mill Boat Yard in Stage Harbor is the town’s only public port facility and is located in the only deep-water harbor, critical to the year-round fishing industry in Chatham, which represents $15 to $20 million in annual value,” said Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk, vice-chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Ensuring the strength of our state’s blue economy is a priority of the SEC, and we will continue to look for opportunities to increase public access to our Commonwealth’s waterfront and expand economic opportunities for communities in partnership with municipalities across our 78 coastal communities.”

“This grant award is quite an accomplishment and demonstration of partnership opportunities realized by state and town officials, as well as the Town of Chatham’s public-private partnership and support for our local maritime community, specifically our commercial fishing and shell fishing industry,” said Chatham Town Manager Jill Goldsmith. “We are very pleased that Governor Baker reconstituted the SEC in 2015 signaling ongoing support to the Commonwealth’s marine sector and greatly appreciate this construction grant award of $1,084,500 in addition to the previous Phase I grant award in 2012 of over $100,000.”

“The Old Mill Boat Yard is a unique and cherished Chatham institution. I am encouraged by our shared commitment to promote local and commercial fishing, and to protect our coastline from the effects of climate change,” said Senator Julian Cyr. “This renovation will not only ensure that our fishers are able to properly care for their boats and equipment, but also provide support for Chatham’s infrastructure and economy.”

"These projects are all about economic development for the region,” said Representative Sarah Peake. “The improvements to these facilities will help boost our economy and create much-needed jobs."

The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for coastal communities and residents by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in August 2015, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by climate change and sea level rise. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast. Since 2015, The Seaport Economic Council has invested $21 million across 49 awards.