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WHEREAS, the maritime economy remains a vital part of Massachusetts and presents an untapped potential for economic growth, jobs development, and investment across the Commonwealth and in coastal communities;
WHEREAS, continued investment in the Commonwealth's seaports and coastal communities for the protection of coastal assets is vital for realizing the potential that is represented by the maritime economy;
WHEREAS, rising sea levels and extreme weather events such as coastal storms and hurricanes present significant threats to coastal communities, requiring development of resilient coastal assets in a sustainable fashion;
WHEREAS, Massachusetts is well situated to capitalize on promising global, national and local trends in the maritime economy which includes the marine science and technology cluster, recreation and tourism sectors, clean energy, the seafood industry as well as other maritime trade industries; and
WHEREAS, coordination of a statewide approach to growth in the maritime economy and the protection of coastal assets is critical to economic development in the Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § 1, Art. 1, do hereby order as follows:
Section 1. The Seaport Advisory Council, established by Executive Order 376, shall henceforth be known as the Seaport Economic Council (the “Council”). The Council shall advise the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor regarding its areas of responsibility as set forth in Section 3 below. The Council’s purpose shall be to provide statewide coordination of all coastal community planning and investment activities, with the aim to stimulate economic development and create jobs in the maritime economy sector as well as to protect coastal assets that are vital to achieving these aims.
Section 2. The Lieutenant Governor shall serve as Chair of the Council. The Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development shall serve as Vice Chair of the Council. The Council shall also include a representative from the Department of Transportation designated by the Secretary of Transportation, a representative designated by the Secretary of Administration and Finance, two representatives designated by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, one of whom shall be from the Office of Coastal Zone Management, and nine representatives of coastal communities, who shall be appointed by the Governor and serve at the pleasure of the Governor for three year, renewable terms, and shall reflect the diversity of the Commonwealth’s coastal communities. Five of these representatives shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the respective Mayors of the Cities of Boston, Fall River, Gloucester, New Bedford, and Salem. The other four representatives shall include a representative of the northeast region (Essex County); a representative of the southern region (Bristol, Dukes and Nantucket Counties); a representative of the southeast region (Plymouth and Barnstable Counties); and a representative of the mid-coast region (Suffolk and Norfolk Counties). The Governor may also appoint to the Council up to two representatives of trade associations representing the maritime economy, each of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
Section 3. The Council shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
- researching and monitoring economic activity in the local, national, and global maritime economy so as to make informed, up-to-date policy and funding recommendations to the Governor;
- using best available science and information regarding potential threats to coastal communities from rising sea levels and extreme weather events in order to evaluate and improve the sustainability and resilience of projects in which the Council invests;
- designing and implementing a statewide growth strategy for the maritime economic sector, including: trade, science and technology, recreation and tourism, clean energy, and the seafood industry;
- coordinating state agencies' activities which are associated with coastal community planning and investment activities, with the aim to stimulate sustainable economic development and create jobs in the maritime economy sector as well as to protect coastal assets;
- designate, for investments across the maritime economic sector, capital funds authorized by the Legislature and allocated by the Governor to the Council;
- designate, for investments in resilient coastal infrastructure, capital funds authorized by the Legislature and allocated by the Governor to the Council;
- reviewing state programs and regulations relating to the Commonwealth's coastal communities and advising the Governor as to their effectiveness; and
- holding meetings at least four times each calendar year, beginning in 2016.
Section 4. Council staff shall be employees of the Commonwealth within the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
Section 5. The Chair of the Council shall designate a committee of “Port Professionals” from coastal communities (the “Committee”) who are subject matter experts in economic development in coastal communities and the development of sustainable, resilient coastal and marine assets, such as Harbormasters, port planners, engineers and other individuals with relevant experience. Council staff shall receive requests for funds for investments and determine which requests are both ready for assessment by the Committee and ready for implementation if approved. The Committee, with appropriate administrative and technical support from agencies of the Commonwealth, will assess all requests for funds referred to it, and shall make recommendations to the Council.
Section 6. All departments, agencies, boards, commissions or other governmental entities involved in coastal community planning and investment in the Commonwealth subject to the Governor’s control shall provide administrative and technical support to the Council and the Committee.
Section 7. The Seaport Economic Council shall exercise all of the rights and powers formerly exercised by the Seaport Advisory Council.
Section 8. Council members and Committee members shall serve without compensation. Subject to appropriation, Council members and Committee members may be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary expenses.
Section 9. This Executive Order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this tenth day of August in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty.