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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.5 Million to Support Plymouth Inner Harbor Dredging

Award will enable Plymouth to undertake significant dredging project in preparation for upcoming Plymouth 400 Commemoration
For immediate release:
10/09/2018
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Seaport Economic Council

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.5 Million to Support Plymouth Inner Harbor Dredging

Colleen Arons , Communications Director

Lt Governor Karyn Polito stands with state and local officials in Plymouth to announce a $2.5 million dredging grant.

PLYMOUTHToday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $2.5 million award to the Town of Plymouth to support dredging the Inner Harbor. The project will benefit five areas of the harbor, effecting nearly 15 acres of public tidelands, and provide substantial benefits to the local community, commercial fishermen and the tourism industry. The Town of Plymouth will match the award with an additional $2.5 million. Today’s announcement builds on the Administration’s rollout of the 2018 Navigational Dredging Pilot Program and recent announcement of $3.6 million in grants to support projects initiated this dredging season.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi and local officials for today’s announcement. State and local funding announced today provides for dredging that will work in conjunction with the $13.5 million federal dredging project scheduled to begin this fall with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Combined, these projects will substantially increase the harbor’s capacity, including allowing small to mid-size cruise ships to utilize the harbor as a port of call for the first time.

“Massachussetts’ coastline consists of diverse and historic seaport communities that have unique economic development opportunities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Coastal communities stand to gain important environmental and economic benefits through efforts like dredging that will support long-term coastal resiliency for places like Plymouth Harbor and the region.”

“This project will enable, for the first time ever, cruise ships to access Plymouth as a port of call, opening up this region for significant new tourism opportunities, and preparing the region for a major influx of visitors for Plymouth 400 in 2020,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Our administration continues to work closely with municipalities, so we can better understand their needs and find opportunities to partner on high-impact projects like this one, leveraging local funding and building upon regional efforts to support long-term success.”

Dredging of the Plymouth Inner Harbor will also expand navigation for commercial lobstering and aquaculture; improve launching, docking and mooring for recreational boaters; increase response capabilities for public safety vessels; and enhance protection and preservation conditions for the Mayflower II, which is currently undergoing restoration in anticipation of the Plymouth 400th commemoration.

“Our new dredging program is the direct result of feedback we received from our coastal communities, and is an important new resource for municipalities to grow their blue economy and leverage their existing maritime assets,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We are pleased to partner with Plymouth to support this important effort and look forward to continuing to work directly with municipalities to further refine our existing tools and ensure our flexible resources support locally-driven projects and set communities up for long-term success.”

“The Commonwealth’s capital investment plan supports important initiatives that help to unlock jobs and economic potential, and this dredging project in Plymouth is one terrific example of that,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “Our Administration will continue to invest strategically and partner with cities and towns to encourage opportunities across economic sectors and in every community in the Commonwealth.”

"Congratulations to the Town of Plymouth for its hard work and dedication to a comprehensive dredging strategy that balances safety, environmental and economic considerations to promote a prosperous and accessible harbor,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this Navigational Dredging Program grant, the Baker-Polito Administration underscores our commitment to supporting and enhancing the vital maritime infrastructure of coastal communities.”

“The Town of Plymouth is extremely excited about the investment in Plymouth Harbor from the Commonwealth. It allows us to achieve several long-standing goals such as increasing public safety for our commercial fishermen and recreational boaters and improving the use of our mooring areas,” said Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi. “Dredging will maximize the use of the new T-Wharf and the repairs to Town Wharf, two projects that the Commonwealth and the Town successfully partnered on to complete.  Lastly, this work will become a legacy project for the Plymouth 400th Commemoration by ensuring that the berth for the iconic Mayflower II is sufficiently deep upon her return to Plymouth Harbor.”

“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their outstanding support as we continue to invest in our community as the Plymouth 400 commemoration approaches,” said Senator Vinny deMacedo. “Dredging Plymouth Harbor will not only revitalize our waterfront for 2020 but will attract further investment in our community and spur economic development for years to come.”

“Plymouth Harbor was last dredged more than 60 years ago and I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition and grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support,” said Representative Mathew Muratore. “A dredged harbor will create an economic boon for years to come for our fishing, business, and tourism industries, provide additional rooms as small cruise ships will be able to anchor overnight in Plymouth Harbor, and alleviate additional parking concerns as more boats transport people into Plymouth to enjoy all that it has to offer.”

Governor Charlie Baker established the Seaport Economic Council in 2015, to serve all 78 of Massachusetts’ diverse coastal communities. The Council helps these communities use their unique economic assets to grow the economy and unlock job creation. The Council also assists them with preparing for the impacts of climate change. The Council awards competitive grants that offer flexible funding for locally-grown ideas and projects. To date, the Council has awarded more than $33 million to 45 cities and towns, supporting 70 local economic development projects throughout coastal communities.

In August, Governor Baker signed economic development legislation that authorized $50 million for saltwater dredging projects, creating the first-ever program with focused funding for dredging that will build on the dredging pilot program the administration launched in July.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.5 Million to Support Plymouth Inner Harbor Dredging

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

Seaport Economic Council 

The Seaport Economic Council helps coastal communities develop and improve local assets to facilitate economic growth. The Seaport Council serves all 78 of Massachusetts’ diverse coastal communities and helps each to use their unique economic assets to grow the economy and unlock job creation. The Council also awards grants to create jobs and build resilience to climate change.
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