Coastal harbors up and down Massachusetts play a vital role in supporting the Commonwealth’s blue economy, or the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and improved quality of life. Recognizing the importance of the blue economy to the future of Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration launched the Commonwealth’s first grant program dedicated to assisting coastal communities maintain and improve their navigational waterways and berths.
The Massachusetts Dredging Program is a competitive grant program that provides construction-phase funding for saltwater dredging projects. The goal of this program is to prepare coastal communities for success by investing in projects that support the long-term strength and sustainability of Massachusetts’ blue economy. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, with a particular emphasis placed on shovel-ready projects that contribute to the economic significance, public safety, recreational value, and/or coastal resiliency of the Commonwealth’s coastal harbors.
The Massachusetts Dredging Program is open to the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities, as defined by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Any coastal community acting by and through its municipal officers or by and through a public agency designated by such officers is eligible to apply.
Funding through the Massachusetts Dredging Program is available for saltwater dredging of public tidelands and the associated disposal of dredged material. Grant rounds typically open in the spring. Allowable costs include the bidding and construction of eligible dredging projects, including bid administration, contracting, mobilization, dredging, dredged material disposal, demobilization, construction administration, and a post-dredge survey. Pre-construction costs, or costs associated with the study, design, engineering, permitting, or real property transactions of a dredging project, are not eligible for funding.
For assistance with pre-construction costs, coastal communities may consider the Seaport Economic Council Grant Program for competitive funding opportunities.
Grants awarded through the Massachusetts Dredging Program require a non-state match equal to at least 50 percent of the total cost of the proposed dredging project. Match funding may include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Federal grants
- Municipal funds
- Private contributions
The maximum grant amount that may be requested is $2.5 million per community.
For complete program requirements, please refer to the RFP and application for the current grant round.