Massachusetts Awards $3.8 Million to Eight Communities and Cape Cod Region to Support Coastal Resiliency & the Maritime Economy

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Marshfield Maritime Center and Harbormaster facility

Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced over $3.8 million in Seaport Economic Council Grants to support projects in eight communities and the Cape Cod region. The grants help coastal cities and towns strengthen their economy, support job growth and build resilience to climate change.

The grants were approved at a Seaport Economic Council meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, following the ribbon cutting celebration for a new Maritime Center and Harbormaster facility at Marshfield’s Green Harbor Town Pier in Brant Rock.

Governor Charlie Baker “Massachusetts maritime economy supports the Commonwealth’s coastal communities through tourism, commercial fishing, marine research, and shipping. Our Administration remains committed to strengthening these cities and towns through the funding, expertise, and leadership of the Seaport Economic Council and will continue to do so through new authorization from the economic development package signed last week.”

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, co-chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the Administration is proud of “the phenomenal progress our coastal communities have made on vital projects, by leveraging state and local funding sources and forging local partnerships. Marshfield offers a tangible example, as it undertook an ambitious effort to create a modern, multi-use maritime center that will better support their thriving maritime economy and tourism-focused economy.”

Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk, vice chair for the Seaport Economic Council, said today’s awards “provide long-term economic benefits in coastal communities through environmental planning efforts on Cape Cod, construction and rehabilitation of harbor facilities in Salem, Hingham, Plymouth, Nantucket, and design and permitting efforts for planned projects.”

In 2015, Marshfield received a $1 Million grant from the Seaport Economic Council to construct a modern Maritime Center and Harbormaster facility at the Town Pier in Green Harbor. The new 3,800 square foot building will improve services for local commercial fisherman and support the working waterfront. The building will also focus on increasing tourism, recreational boating, and fishing, and will link other waterfront infrastructure investments in the town, including the Harborwalk linking Harbor Park and the Esplanade of the Brant Rock business district.

Marshfield Rendering

Since 2015, the Seaport Economic Council has invested over $33 million in 70 grants across 38 communities. Last week, the Governor signed economic development legislation that includes an additional $50 million in authorization for the Seaport Economic Council and $50 million for saltwater dredging projects, creating an individual program for focused funding that will build upon the $4 million 2018 Navigational Dredging Pilot Program the Administration launched in July.

The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for communities and residents across the state by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in August 2015, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast.

Investments in the coastal communities are crucial the Massachusetts’ economy, safety, and environment. The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to provide resources and programs, like the Seaport Economic Council Grants and dredging-focused programs – both the 2018 Navigational Dredging Pilot Program and the standalone dredging grant program to be funding through the economic development legislation signed by Governor Baker last week – to ensure that coastal communities can improve, strengthen, and protect the Commonwealth’s coastal assets.

Cape Cod Cooperative Extension – $317,020
The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension will enable the protection of coastal businesses, homes, property and infrastructure by precisely identifying and mapping “storm tide pathways,” the lowest elevation where water will begin to flow inland during a flood event. This project will provide field-verified data on where, when, and how storm surge and floodwaters approach and then inundate coastal communities.

City of Gloucester – $110,000
Gloucester will use this award to support the Gloucester Fresh, a local seafood brand to: support all seafood industry small businesses along the supply chain through free marketing and promotional opportunities; increase sales and prices of Gloucester landed fish and lobster; and expand upon efforts to brand the Massachusetts Lobster and increase awareness of Gloucester as the #1 landing port for lobster.

City of Salem – $741,200
Salem will fund the construction of two new public docking facilities and renovation of a severely deteriorated existing facility. This project will increase safety on the docks, create a space for short-term tie-ups and will improve expand public access to the water for both residents and visitors.

Town of Chatham - $150,000
Chatham will fund the design and permitting phases for reconstruction of the Trap Dock Pier located on Stage Harbor. The project will design a replacement commercial fish offloading pier facility to improve and expand offloading capabilities in Stage Harbor.

Town of Eastham – $80,000
Eastham will use this award for facilitating, planning and developing a Municipal Harbor and Waterways Management Plan to understand the greatest uses and needs of the town’s mooring area, as well as understanding future coastal changes to these areas due to storm surge.

Town of Hingham – $370,000
Hingham will fund the replacement of the Maritime Center’s Main Docking System and the Sailing Floats. This re-construction of the aging dock system, will be able to sustain the community boating programs that use this space and also ensure that this resource continues to be available for future generations.

Town of Marshfield – $95,000
Marshfield will use this award for a feasibility study on its aging commercial piers, wharfs and supportive concrete revetment walls. This study will seek ways to better conduct maritime business and repair the again infrastructure.

Town of Nantucket – $1,000,000
The town of Nantucket will use this award to support improvements to the Town Pier, Harbormaster’s office, which supports 13,500 transient vessels each season and 45 ferry transits each day in season. The facility is comprised of 75 recreational slips and 20 slips assigned to commercial businesses such as; mooring providers, fishing charters, environmental habitat charters, boat rentals and a vessel towing company. Nantucket will fund replacement of the Harbormaster’s office, boater- public bathroom and shower facilities.

Town of Plymouth – $1,000,000
Plymouth will use the award to create the Maritime Facility. The existing Harbormaster Facility is in poor condition with no bathroom facilities for the staff of the public, limited work space, and a variety of safety hazards. The harbor itself has approximately 1000 moorings and slips for both recreational and commercial boating for catching lobster, charter fishing, whale watching and aquaculture. The award will fund the new facility which will include transient boater facilities, public restrooms, and Harbormaster staff. The Maritime Facility will provide increased accessibility and support to all the commercial and recreational activities of Plymouth Harbor.

Read the entire press release here.