- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Seaport Economic Council
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Completion of Belle Isle Marsh Marine Ecology Park
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
WINTHROP — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Senator Joseph Boncore, Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan, DCR Commissioner Leo Roy, Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk, and Town Manager Austin Faison to celebrate the opening of the Belle Isle Marsh Marine Ecology Park in Winthrop. The opening of the Marine Ecology Park marks the completion of an effort by the Town of Winthrop to provide increased access to natural resources, supporting recreation, education, and tourism.
In 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council provided more than $1.2 million in state funding to Winthrop, enabling the town to construct a pier-supported wooden walkway on the public land that borders the marsh. This construction further opens the only urban Great Salt Marsh in Massachusetts for visitors, allowing the town to leverage its natural assets for education and economic development.
“The completion of the Belle Isle Marsh Marine Ecology Park will enhance tourism and support economic growth in Winthrop, as well as provide new educational opportunities for local schools, allowing students to learn about the last remaining urban Great Salt Marsh in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is pleased to partner with the city of Winthrop and members of the Legislature on this effort and we look forward to continuing to advance economic development opportunities for our 78 coastal communities.”
“When Governor Baker and I re-established the Seaport Economic Council in 2015, we focused on supporting local infrastructure projects that used coastal assets to create economic development opportunities like Belle Isle Marsh Marine Ecology Park,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “It is an honor to return to Winthrop today and to stand with legislative partners like Speaker DeLeo and Senator Boncore to formally open a park that will benefit the community and will build on Massachusetts’ blue economy.”
“The Seaport Economic Council focuses resources on the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities in order to use natural resources to unlock economic development opportunities, creating jobs and growing businesses up and down the coast,” said Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Opening the Belle Isle Marsh for tourism and education supports local schools, local businesses, and the local advocates who saw the potential in the last urban Great Salt Marsh.”
“The Belle Isle Marsh Marine Ecology Park and Marsh Walk is an incredible addition to the area, which has created important connections that will enable people of all abilities with excellent opportunities to explore and appreciate this phenomenal natural resource,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The completion of this project serves as a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to working with local communities, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to foster strong partnerships that directly benefit the public.”
“Today we celebrate the partnership among municipal, state and community groups that worked together to protect and make accessible this marshland – helping to preserve our precious coastal environment and provide a place for the community to gather and explore,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “We also honor Mary Kelley for her decades of public service to the community as a steward of Winthrop’s open spaces.”
“Belle Isle is among Winthrop’s greatest natural resources,” said Senator Joseph Boncore. “The Marine Ecology Park will not only serve as a scenic walking path and recreational resource, but also as a valuable outdoor learning center for Winthrop’s children and students.”
“This park is a treasure for Winthrop and greater Boston, and I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for its support,” said Austin Faison, Winthrop Town Manager. “Winthrop is a strong community comprised of dedicated residents like Mary Kelley and organizations like the Friends of Belle Isle, who work tirelessly to create public spaces so that all may enjoy our spectacular natural surroundings. We thank Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for their commitment, and Speaker DeLeo and Senator Boncore for representing us so well.”
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 38 cities and towns, supporting 70 local economic development projects throughout coastal communities.