Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council Awards $5 Million to 13 Communities
Funding will restore infrastructure critical to the maritime economy while generating regional economic growth
Fall River – February 2, 2017 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced a total of $5 million in awards for 13 coastal communities. The grant awards will advance collaborative initiatives to improve public infrastructure and promote maritime economic development in a wide array of coastal cities and towns.
“The Blue Economy is an integral component of Massachusetts’s long-term economic growth, in sectors as diverse as robotics and commercial fishing,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These investments will help modernize and repair vital infrastructure in New Bedford, encourage research and development in Falmouth, and generate maritime economic growth from Gloucester to Tisbury.”
“Massachusetts has built a globally competitive economy on our ability to leverage the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, skills, and physical assets,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “The Seaport Economic Council gives coastal communities the tools to advance collaborative work and community-based plans that will encourage sustainable growth.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration, and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, remain committed to supporting our 78 coastal cities and towns by making investments in waterfront planning and coastal assets which generate economic development,” said Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice-chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Community-driven economic development which leverages local assets is proven to grow our economy locally and regionally.”
The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for communities and residents across the state 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 sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. 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.
Beverly - $400,000
The City of Beverly will replace the existing anchor system for its Glover Wharf with guide piles to address safety and equipment concerns for boaters and staff. This award, which will increase Glover Wharf’s commercial and recreational viability,
builds on previous work conducted with the Office of Coastal Zone Management and compliments ongoing efforts to protect Glover Wharf and Beverly’s waterfront, and.
Beverly - $80,000
The City of Beverly will create a Municipal Harbor Plan as part of its long-term goals to support commercial and recreational activity on the waterfront, and strengthen the local economy. This plan will look to catalogue existing and potential uses waterfront, identify solutions for transportation issues, examine how to link the waterfront to Beverly’s downtown, and recommend policies to strengthen the existing character and beauty of the area.
Cohasset - $80,000
Cohasset will produce a Municipal Harbor Plan as part of its efforts to plan and prioritize future harbor work. Proper planning and investment will allow the Town to use existing revenues to support and grow businesses, including the lobster fleet and marine-related retail businesses near the harbor. The plan will also help lay the groundwork for enhanced linkages between the harbor and Cohasset’s downtown.
Dartmouth - $1,000,000
Dartmouth will use Seaport Economic Council funding to transform a town-owned waterfront property in the Village of Padanaram. The property will be improved to include a welcome center with shower and bathroom facilities, a harbormaster office, a public esplanade, additional docks, and utility upgrades to better service commercial and recreational users. These improvements will enhance public access to the area, support the boating community, and boost the local tourism and maritime economies.
Falmouth - $500,000
The Town of Falmouth will partner with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to conduct a feasibility study and preliminary design to redevelop WHOI’s Iselin Dock and related facilities. Iselin Dock is one of the key enablers of Falmouth’s $400 million annual oceanographic research and marine operations economy, supporting scientific and engineering testing and research. The dock is deteriorating and nearing the end of its useful design life. Replacing the dock will allow Falmouth to remain at the forefront of maritime research nationally.
Gloucester - $80,000
Gloucester is the oldest fishing port in America, and it is critical to the economic health of the city that visitors – especially visiting boaters – feel welcome and have access to the resources they need. In order to advance Gloucester’s maritime and tourism economies, the City will use Seaport Economic Council funds for a site selection study that will examine co-locating a visiting boater support facility with the Harbormaster’s office, to offer resources and amenities including changing rooms, showers, laundry facilities, public restrooms, and common space with Wi-Fi access.
Hull - $64,000
The Town of Hull will use Seaport Economic Council funds to develop a Nantasket Beach Revitalization Unified Work Plan. Given the complex and varied stakeholder needs that must be addressed in a successful revitalization of Nantasket Beach, Hull will bring together the Town, the Redevelopment Authority, state agencies, and private property owners in a collaborative planning effort to provide long-term direction and planning use. This effort will build on previous collaboratively-led projects, including the Nantasket Avenue rebuild, an approved smart growth overlay district, and a two-way road conversion study to support transportation, recreation, housing, and economic development in the area.
Hull - $45,000
The Town of Hull has prioritized the redevelopment of Pemberton Point, and Seaport Economic Council funding will advance this local priority, by enabling the Town to launch a collaborative planning process to improve services and expand economic activity. The study will examine ways to promote and encourage commercial and residential growth, improve infrastructure, and long-term planning for a sustainable maritime facility.
Manchester-by-the-Sea - $327,000
The Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea will assess and repair its public seawall stretching from Morss Pier to Reed Park, after several sinkholes formed in the walkways and sidewalks. Infrastructure deterioration has restricted access for residents and commercial operations, and repairing the seawall will support continued maritime employment.
New Bedford - $1,000,000
New Bedford will use Seaport Economic Council funds to survey its five city piers, providing a full condition report that will guide future capital maintenance, and to make all five piers structurally sound. This survey work will address serious infrastructural issues that serve as a significant barrier to further economic growth in New Bedford, and will enable the growth of the city’s commercial fishing fleet, providing jobs and economic opportunities for residents of the city.
Plymouth - $416,790
The Plymouth Town Wharf serves as a docking pier for commercial fishing boats, recreational fishing boats and sightseeing cruises. In 2012, Plymouth undertook a major inspection of the wharf infrastructure, resulting in a report that detailed a set of recommendations to ensure long-term structural integrity to maintain the wharf’s operations. The Town of Plymouth will use Seaport Economic Council funds to pursue ongoing repairs to the Town Wharf, which include the replacement of necessary supports, wave fencing improvements, and repairs to the bulkhead.
Scituate - $560,500
The City of Scituate will use funds to develop a permanent piling system at the municipal marina. Improvements will include the removal and replacement of the current chain/anchoring system and an existing pier, which is nearly 30 years old. The new pile-support system will reduce long-term operating and maintenance costs, increase economic activity and provide a more stable system in the face of increasing natural disasters, mitigating the effects of hurricanes, tropical storms or winter nor’easters.
Westport - $249,000
The historic Town Head Landing in Westport provides public recreational access to the Westport River for small boats, kayaks and paddleboards via two slipways. The Seaport Economic Council grant will support the rehabilitation of the entire parcel, which will regrade the site for improved stormwater management, improve ADA accessibility, enhance driver safety and create more opportunities for water-based recreational programs. The Town of Westport will undertake this revitalization effort in collaboration with The Westport Landing Commission, Westport River Watershed Alliance and the Community Preservation Committee.
Quincy - $292,800
The City of Quincy’s Squantum Point Pier is under consideration as a prime, and under-utilized, location to re-start ferry service from Quincy to Boston Harbor. Seaport Economic Council funds will allow the City to make engineering, permitting and design improvements to the pier, in anticipation of future ferry service. The new Squantum Point Regional Maritime Transportation Hub will potentially service the commuter transportation needs of Quincy, and the contiguous communities in Dorchester, Mattapan, Milton, Weymouth, Braintree and other commuter communities.
Tisbury - $680,000
Seaport Economic Council funds will allow the Town of Tisbury to significantly overhaul its Lake Tashmoo landing. The Town will replace the public pier, bulkhead and launch ramp to accommodate rising sea levels and outdated infrastructure. Without replacement, public access to the landing will likely be curtailed due to safety concerns. The public pier currently serves the needs of the area’s tourism economy through cruising vessels, sailing charters, and charter fisherman, as well as local and commercial fisherman.
Weymouth - $184,000
The Town of Weymouth will design and permit a fully-accessibly pedestrian walkway between two popular beaches along the Fore River. The two beaches, Wessagussett Beach and George Lane Beach, are currently separated by rocky coastline, and are inaccessible to pedestrians. New linkages between Weymouth’s waterfront resources will increase alternative modes of transportation, and enhance access for all residents and tourists.