The Baker-Polito Administration announced $3.6 million in grants through the 2018 Navigational Dredging Pilot Program. The awards support ten projects in eleven communities for the upcoming dredging season. The projects are expected to remove nearly 188,000 cubic yards of harbor sediment.
Governor Charlie Baker called the new program “the direct result of outreach by municipal leaders in our coastal communities, and the collaborative, responsive efforts of EOHED Secretary Jay Ash and his team. Through the economic development package we signed earlier this month, our Administration will create a dedicated dredging program to continue to support the economic and environmental needs of our maritime communities.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who made the announcement in Hyannis on August 29, 2018, said, “Through the Seaport Economic Council, our Administration has worked closely with the 78 Massachusetts coastal communities, gaining a deeper understanding of the unique necessities of the maritime economy and environmental challenges. I am thrilled to announce these high-impact awards, which will enhance the capacity of our waterways, improve access in our harbors, and address environmental concerns up and down our coastline.”
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the dredging awards “support growth for our maritime economy, benefiting commercial and recreational fishing, ferry services, and more.”
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton praised the Administration’s “commitment to work closely with coastal communities to improve commercial and recreational harbor access while effectively minimizing environmental impacts and maximizing beneficial reuse of dredged materials.”
Modeled after the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, one of the state’s most effective tools in supporting local and regional economic development, the 2018 pilot program awards funding to communities for dredging projects based on a competitive basis, with an emphasis on shovel-ready projects which have secured all required federal, state, and local permits, and require a 50 percent match commitment from the municipality.
Earlier this month, Governor Baker signed economic development legislation that authorizes $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.
Dredging grants will be administrated through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, with coordination from the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Office of Coastal Zone Management.
Read full press release for the ten projects awarded grants.