- 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 Next Phase of Fairhaven’s Union Wharf Project
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
FAIRHAVEN — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Fairhaven selectmen and local legislators to celebrate $1.1 million in improvements to Union Wharf and the Public Safety Marina. The completion of this phase of the town’s multi-phase effort ensures the stabilization of the wharf’s bulkhead and strengthens Fairhaven’s fishing and public safety piers.
The Baker-Polito Administration has provided over $1 million in coastal infrastructure grants to Fairhaven through the Seaport Economic Council (SEC) grants program. In August 2016, Fairhaven received a $950,713 grant for replacement of the west wall of the Union Wharf bulkhead. In August 2017, the SEC awarded Fairhaven a $72,000 grant to Fairhaven for the construction of a Public Safety Marina at Union Wharf, followed by another $40,000 in 2018 for security fencing and the installation of fender piles to berth three commercial fishing vessels and two lobster boats, allowing the town to generate an additional $40,000 in revenue a year.
“We reconstituted the Seaport Economic Council in 2015 to provide dedicated support to Massachusetts’ 78 coastal communities, each with unique assets and opportunities for growth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Union Wharf project is a great example of a strategic, multi-year investment that will support Fairhaven’s coastal resiliency and maritime economy.”
“I am pleased to return to Fairhaven to celebrate the enhanced Union Wharf envisioned in 2016,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Our administration is committed to growing the state’s blue economy and to working with our partners at the local level on the continued renovation and expansion of this significant part of the South Coast’s fishing industry.”
“The Seaport Economic Council is a vital resource for Massachusetts’ coastal communities, focused on maximizing natural resources and creating thriving maritime businesses,” said Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Improvements to Union Wharf will support 29 fishing and lobster boats, maintain up to 160 jobs, and consolidate marine safety efforts, providing an important boost to Fairhaven’s maritime economy.”
Union Wharf is a key component to Fairhaven’s commercial fishing industry. The pier rehabilitation project is a multi-phased undertaking that has added new steel pilings to stabilize the bulkhead and the creation of a Public Safety Marina on the eastern corner of the wharf, including two gangways, two floats, fencing and security lighting. When fully built out, Union Wharf will accommodate 13 lobster boats, 16 fishing vessels, two commercial slips, 45 parking spaces and pilings to support a future building on the site.
“The improvements to the Union wharf, including the new Fairhaven Public Safety Marina, provides for both the strengthening of the South Coast maritime industry and for enhanced first responder capabilities,” said Fairhaven Town Administrator Mark Rees. “None of this would have been possible without the financial assistance of Seaport Economic Council under the leadership of Lt. Governor Polito of which we are very grateful.”
“Union Wharf is a critical public asset within the bustling New Bedford-Fairhaven Harbor,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mark Montigny. “These improvements provide much-needed facilities for local fishermen and public safety officials within one of the Commonwealth’s original seaports and most lucrative fishing ports.”
“I commend the Baker administration and Seaport Economic Council for their support of our working waterfront and thank the people of Fairhaven and town officials for their critical contributions,” said Representative Bill Straus. “Union Wharf is a significant port asset, and these improvements and the additional berths they provide will offer direct benefits to the port’s commercial fishermen.”
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.