Baker-Polito Administration Releases Report on Future of State Piers
Report assesses the state of business and operations of state piers in Fall River, Gloucester, New Bedford and Plymouth
Boston – August 5, 2016 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration released a new, comprehensive assessment of state piers in Fall River, Gloucester, New Bedford and Plymouth. The Seaport Economic Council commissioned the report to inform state policy on the future governance of, and investment in, the four state piers.
These four state piers are owned by the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. While pier management, activity, and function vary across the four municipalities, the state piers support a variety of water-dependent economic uses, including commercial fishing and processing, shipping and cargo storage, passenger transportation, tourism, and dockage for fishing vessels and cruise ships.
The report assessed the critical challenges that face each pier, in consideration of their distinct governance, uses, management and capital needs. The full piers assessment can be accessed here: State Piers Report - 8.2.16 file size 1MB
“Our state piers provide specialized infrastructure that supports multiple marine industries, including commercial fishing, shipping and cargo operations, marine transportation, marine services, and tourism,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “The piers are important assets to our maritime economy, and we are committed to pursuing strategies that will realize their full potential.”
The Baker-Polito Administration has begun addressing critical early action items that surfaced during the comprehensive state pier review process. In May, the Administration announced $3.5 million in funding to refrigerate New Bedford State Pier, enabling year-round cargo shipping operations. And in July, the Administration announced $1.1 million in capital funding to address critical deferred maintenance needs at Gloucester’s Jodrey State Pier.
“The daily operations of state managed piers serve as critical components to the working harbors of Fall River, Gloucester, New Bedford, and Plymouth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration recognizes the importance of the state piers to their respective regional economies, and this report will serve as an excellent road map regarding their future management.”
The Seaport Economic Council commissioned Karl F. Seidman Consulting Services and Urban Focus, LLC to prepare the report. The report’s authors collected and analyzed data, conducted stakeholder interviews, made site visits, and assessed pier management. The report highlights the necessity of implementing best practices across the piers’ real estate, management and financial operations, and formulating a state vision for the future use of each pier.
“This report, coupled with a comprehensive study on the maritime economy that is currently underway, will put the Administration in a better position to make long-term decisions on the future governance of, and capital investment in, the four state piers,” said Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, and vice chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Fully understanding the challenges and pitfalls our state piers face is the first step in ensuring strong, long-term management and stewardship for the state piers.”
The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s goal of supporting communities and residents across the state by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in 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 sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms.