The Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $6.7 million in Seaport Economic Council (SEC) grants for 16 projects in 14 coastal communities.
The awarded funds will help coastal communities advance projects that benefit commercial maritime industries, improve resident and visitor access to waterfront assets, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and advance future dredging.
“The Commonwealth’s coastal communities greatly contribute to our statewide economy, and through the Seaport Economic Council we continue to invest in the infrastructure that boosts working waterfronts, protects natural assets, and improves access for residents and visitors,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With these grants and in partnership with these communities, we can continue to support key industries and the economic activity they generate.”
“The Seaport Economic Council’s work is more important than ever as Massachusetts addresses the dual challenges of pandemic recovery and climate change,” said Lt. Governor Polito, Chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Our Administration is pleased to award $6.7 million toward projects up and down our coast, and build on the partnerships that will continue to lead to economic vitality and preserve natural resources for future generations to enjoy.”
The Seaport Economic Council serves all 78 of Massachusetts’ diverse coastal communities and awards grant funding to municipalities and other entities in support of shovel-ready projects that promote job creation and economic growth, transformative public-private partnerships, educational opportunities for young people, local economic development planning efforts, coastal infrastructure improvements, and the planning and permitting of saltwater dredging. The projects supported in this round range from pier, dock, and marina projects in Beverly, Barnstable, Chilmark, and Westport essential to the commercial fishing industry, to infrastructure grants that will help communities like Lynn, Salem, and Weymouth improve waterfront access for residents and visitors. Additionally, through this round of awards, the Seaport Economic Council will support the design and permitting of dredging projects that may apply for future funding through the Massachusetts Dredging Program.
“Understanding the importance of the Commonwealth’s maritime activities, these grants will go a long way to repair, replace, upgrade, and modernize our coastal infrastructure ensuring this sector of the economy continues to grow and thrive,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.
“Massachusetts’ ports and harbors launch fishing fleets, serve recreational boaters, attract tourists, and we are proud to continue the Administration’s commitment to partnering with communities to build and maintain the infrastructure of today and plan for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba.
The grants were approved on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at a meeting of the Seaport Economic Council held at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. Also, at the meeting, Lt. Governor Polito conducted the swearing-in of Michael Collins, who will serve on the Council as the Northeast Region Coastal Community Representative, and Ashley Stolba, Undersecretary of Community Development, as the Council’s Vice Chair.
Since its re-launch by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015, the Seaport Economic Council has invested nearly $64 million through 138 grants in 51 coastal communities, funding projects ranging from local priorities to shared Commonwealth-wide initiatives. Investments in coastal communities are crucial to pandemic recovery efforts and growing the Massachusetts’ economy, promoting public safety and recreational activities, and encouraging environmental protection and stewardship.
Seaport Economic Council Support Coastal Infrastructure Grant Recipients
Town of Barnstable, Bismore Park Marina Improvements Design and Permitting, $465,600
This award will advance a project to improve public safety and accessibility, replace aging infrastructure, and increase resiliency, through the design and permitting of a new bulkhead, new docks and slips, as well as a reconfiguration of the marina’s uses, separating visitor access from commercial activities.
City of Beverly, Beverly Commercial Hoist Pier Reconstruction Project, $656,000
This grant will fund the reconstruction of the Commercial Hoist Pier in Beverly, replacing the existing pier with a steel pile-supported concrete pier and new hoist, to better serve the commercial fishing fleet.
City of Beverly, Expansion of Transient and Recreational Fishing Floats Engineering Feasibility Study, $62,400
This award will fund an engineering feasibility study, and design and permitting efforts to expand the transient float next to Beverly’s Public Pier for party and tour boats as well as construct a new recreational fishing float, which are key components of the City’s long-standing plans for revitalizing the waterfront in the Glover Wharf area.
Boston Planning Development Agency/ Boston Ship Repair, Drydock # 3 Power Distribution System Upgrades, $598,800
This grant will fund upgrades to an outdated drydock power distribution system, which will result in easier, safer, and more efficient power distribution. The existing electrical infrastructure dates to the shipyard’s origins in the early 1900s and feeds major operations of the shipyard including drydock pumps, drydock lights, various trade workshops, and subcontractor workstations. Funding will increase Drydock Utilization by 25 percent adding over 50,000 additional man-hours for workforce to one of the largest operating drydocks on the U.S. East Coast.
Town of Chilmark, Menemsha Commercial Dock and Bulkhead Replacement and Elevation Design and Permitting, $55,000
This award will fund design and permitting of the Menemsha Dock Replacement and Elevation Project, which is a multi-phased approach to provide long-term resiliency for the commercial docks in the heart of Menemsha Harbor. Funding for this phase will result in a certified engineering inspection of the bulkhead which will inform subsequent project planning and design.
Town of Cohasset, Parker Ave Boat Ramp Construction, $801,187
This award will fund the replacement of the Parker Avenue Boat Ramp, which will improve commercial and public access to navigable waters for recreational and commercial boating, leading to increased economic growth for the community.
Town of Eastham, Eastham Rock Harbor Harbormaster Building and Site Improvement Construction Project, $750,000
This grant will fund construction of an elevated open pile building for the public, Harbormaster, and Natural Resources Department staff, and will assist in the establishment of site amenities such as parking, benches, bike racks, water bottle filling station, picnic tables, rinse station, information kiosk, and walking paths.
City of Lynn, Rehabilitation and Restoration of Lynn Municipal Marina Design, Engineering and Permitting Project, $210,000
This grant funding will support engineering and permitting for the revitalization of the city-owned marina at Seaport Landing. The marina revitalization is a component of the city’s larger plan to reconnect its harbor-front to the rest of the city.
Town of Marion, Marion Maritime Center Design and Permitting, $303,000
Following the completion of a Town-funded feasibility study and cost estimate for a new Maritime Center, this grant will fund detailed architectural and engineering plans for a future Center.
City of Salem, Forest River Park Rehabilitation, $1,000,000
This funding will support the rehabilitation of an existing historic bathhouse, expansion of an existing building to serve as a community room and classroom, the replacement of the existing failing pool structure and the construction of a new splash pad. This project also includes the construction of a small support building for filtration equipment and lifeguard facilities, and restoration of portions of the historically altered shoreline along with the construction of accessible recreational trails.
Town of Westport, Shore Power Pedestal Upgrades at Town Dock, $27,776
This funding will support the replacement of electric shore power pedestals, which provide power to Westport’s Commercial Fishermen. Included in the pedestal replacement are lights, housing, and meters.
City of Weymouth, Wessagusset Walk, $1,000,000
This award will fund the continuation of the Wessagusset Walk project that previously received funding from the Seaport Economic Council Grant Program in 2018. This project, which is fully designed and permitted, will result in construction of a fully accessible pedestrian walkway between Wessagusset Beach and George Lane Beach, two saltwater bathing beaches situated along the Fore River in North Weymouth that are separated by rocky coastline.
Seaport Economic Council Dredging Design and Permitting Grant Recipients
Town of Barnstable, Hyannis Inner Harbor Dredging Project, $256,800
This grant will support design and permitting of a future dredging project that is expected to improve public safety, as well as enhanced navigation for commercial and recreational vessels.
Town of Edgartown, Dredge Katama Bay, $240,000
This award will fund engineering, design, and permitting for a future dredging project in two critical areas that experience a high volume of marine traffic in Edgartown’s outer harbor.
Town of Hull, Nantasket Pier Maintenance, $239,500
This grant will fund engineering and design services for a future dredging project in the area around Nantasket Pier, which will support the continuation of safe marina operations.
Town of Wellfleet, Wellfleet Harbor Maintenance Dredging – Area II, $39,600
This grant funding will result in the design and permitting for a future dredging project in Area II of Wellfleet Harbor, which will result in improvements to the mooring area while accounting for the Harbor’s existing aquaculture activities.
The Seaport Economic Council helps coastal communities develop and improve local assets to facilitate economic growth. The Seaport Council serves all 78 of Massachusetts’ diverse coastal communities and helps each to use their unique economic assets to grow the economy and unlock job creation. The Council also awards grants to create jobs and build resilience to climate change.