The Neponset River at Paul’s Bridget, Milton

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced approximately $1.8 million in Seaport Economic Council grants for seven projects. The grant funding supports a range of initiatives including the design of upgrades to coastal infrastructure, the development of a harbor management plan, and funding to support commuter ferry facility maintenance. The grants were approved at today’s meeting of the Seaport Economic Council held in Lynn at North Shore Community College. Today’s meeting was chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito who also announced the opening of the 2022 grant round of the Massachusetts Dredging Program.

“Through the Seaport Economic Council’s important work, we are proud to help coastal communities leverage their unique assets that are key drivers of economic activity,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this recent round of awards, our Administration is proud to support efforts in all corners of our coastline allowing Massachusetts maritime industries to grow and expand well into the future.”

“In addition to this round of Seaport Economic Council awards, we are pleased to open this year’s grant round of the Massachusetts Dredging Program,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Dredging is critical to maintaining the strength of our coastal economy and by having a dedicated program, we can ensure important funding is directed toward projects that keep our waterways open and safe.”

The Seaport Economic Council serves all 78 of the Commonwealth’s coastal communities. The Council awards grant funding to municipalities and other entities in support of 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. With this latest round of grants, the Seaport Economic Council has invested approximately $65.8 million through 145 grants in 53 coastal communities since 2015.

“The Commonwealth’s maritime activities play a vital role in the overall strength of the state’s economy,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Thanks to the partnerships with our coastal communities and because of the Seaport Economic Council’s dedication, we can invest in projects like these that support the economy by modernizing infrastructure, enhancing public access, and improving climate resiliency.”

“Our coastal communities are home to a wide range of industries and uses that define the culture and traditions of the Commonwealth,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba, Vice Chair of the Council. “Thanks to the Seaport Economic Council, the combination of investments in shoreside infrastructure as well as saltwater dredging will ensure our maritime sector continues to thrive.”

The Massachusetts Dredging Program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and financed through capital funds authorized under the 2018 Economic Development Bond Bill. Applications for the 2022 grant round are due April 15, 2022 and must include a minimum 50 percent match of non-state funds. All Massachusetts coastal municipalities are eligible to apply and applications will be evaluated by EOHED in consultation with staff from the Seaport Economic Council and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

Since 2019, the Massachusetts Dredging Program has awarded over $16 million for 22 public projects, tapping into more than $22 million in matching funds and removing an estimated 585,000 cubic yards of material from public berths and channels. An additional 10 grants, totaling nearly $3.6 million, were awarded through the Commonwealth’s pilot dredging program in 2018.

Dredging projects have preserved or expanded access to over 7,000 moorings and dockage slips, navigation for over 600 commercial vessels, and the livelihoods of more than 70 private boatyards, marinas, and other harbor-dependent enterprises. Approximately one third of all dredged material has been beneficially reused for the restoration of public beaches.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Dredging Program.

Seaport Economic Council Grant Recipients

City of Gloucester, $100,000

For Saint Peter’s Landing and HarborWalk Improvements Design and Engineering, a city-owned and operated commercial marina and town landing home to 13 full-time commercial fishing boats. The HarborWalk, established in 2012, is a multi-award-winning, 1.2-mile path that starts at Saint Peter’s Square and traverses Gloucester’s working waterfront and downtown commercial district.

City of Lynn, $380,000

For the Blossom Street Extension, Commuter Ferry Facility Maintenance Project. This three-phase project in conjunction with funding by the Federal Government and EDIC was a $7,500,000 investment in Lynn’s Waterfront. The facility is now in need of maintenance.

Town of Dartmouth, $50,000

Dias Landing Small Boat Docking Facility Design and Permitting. This funding will support design and permitting of a small boat docking facility. The design would specify parking, the number of spots for boats, amenities to be provided, the layout of the facility and more. The goal of this phase of the project would be to have a set of plans ready to move forward with construction.

Town of Mashpee, $150,000

To support an update to the town’s Municipal Harbor Management Plan. An updated survey of town waters would allow the town to advance the maritime economy while prioritizing the sustainability of the local fisheries to facilitate positive future decision-making for public access.

Town of Milton, $75,000

To support a feasibility study for the Neponset River Maintenance Dredging Project. The historic channel within the Neponset River at Milton Landing and between Milton Landing and the Neponset Avenue Bridge has restrictions for boating due to sedimentation. Furthermore, the channels separately connecting Squantum Point Park Pier and UMass’ John T. Fallon State Pier with the federal navigation channel are also restricted by sediment. The proposed feasibility study includes stakeholder outreach, and will define the dredge areas, conduct preliminary sediment sampling and analysis, conduct pre-permitting coordination with regulators, identify disposal options, develop an opinion of probable construction costs, and determine a schedule for permitting, dredging, and disposal.

Town of Scituate, $1 million

Cole Parkway Marina Rehabilitation, Phase 2: Replacement of the existing deteriorated timber floating dock system with a new floating dock system. Removal and replacement of the pump-out system, and potable water distribution system. Removal and reinstallation of the electrical distribution system within the marina. New steel mooring piles and an 80’ ADA compliant gangway were previously installed in Phase 1 of the project. The new steel mooring piles will be reused to moor the new floats.

Town of Westport, $76,000

For Hix Bridge Landing design, engineering, and permitting necessary to prepare to rebuild and improve the Hix Bridge landing. Included are a rebuilt boat ramp, pretreatment of stormwater discharge, improved sea-level and climate resilience, better parking, safety, and handicap access for commercial and recreational purposes.