Stage Harbor, Chatham, Cape Cod

The Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $10.8 million in Seaport Economic Council grants for 19 projects. The grants 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 grants were approved on July 26 meeting of the Seaport Economic Council, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at the Chatham Harbormaster Building in Chatham.

“Massachusetts’ coastal communities are home to working waterfronts, maritime industry and innovation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I’m proud that the Seaport Economic Council, led by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, has directed nearly $77 million since we have taken office to strengthen Massachusetts’ coastal communities and reinforce them for the future.”

“I appreciate the hard work of the Seaport Economic Council members in evaluating and investing in projects that will deepen our maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in our coastal communities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “From the North Shore to the South Coast, today’s awards will advance important improvements along our waterfront.”

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 $77 million through 164 grants in 54 coastal communities since 2015.

“Our waterfronts are economic drivers for Massachusetts, supporting maritime industries and drawing visitors to enjoy our beaches and local businesses,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Providing the resources to shore up our waterfronts through infrastructure improvements and coastal resiliency efforts is integral to both the long-term environmental and economic health of our Commonwealth.”

“Capital grants from the Seaport Economic Council help our coastal communities tackle locally identified projects to update and improve their waterfront infrastructure,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba, Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, we are proud to award nearly $10.8 million in grants today to advance 19 important projects.”

Seaport Economic Council Grant Recipients

City of Beverly, $800,000
The City will use this grant to buy private waterfront property for public use that is immediately adjacent to the existing harbor center, public commercial marina, and public recreational marina.

Town of Chatham, $1 Million
This project will address various existing structural and public safety deficiencies at the Municipal Fish Pier. The Fish Pier is a critical component to Chatham’s fishing and maritime heritage with stakeholders including the local and regional fishing community and vast numbers of the public who seek access to an authentic “working waterfront.” The Fish Pier services the largest commercial fishing fleet on Cape Cod, managing millions of pounds of seafood yearly destined for local, regional, national, and international markets. It is also one of, if not the, largest tourist destinations on the Cape with visitation during the 2020 summer season estimated at more than 70,000 individuals.

Town of Chilmark, $176,000
The Menemsha Dock Replacement and Elevation Project is a multi-phased program to ensure long-term economic stability and climate resilience of the commercial fishing docks in Menemsha Harbor. A recently completed, Seaport Economic Council-supported Phase I engineering assessment identified significant deterioration of the dock, bulkhead, and supporting infrastructure. Phase II of the project will create design options and engineer plans for the replacement of this economically critical infrastructure through a public community engagement process.

Town of Dartmouth, $996,700
The Town will use this grant to construct a small boat docking facility at Arthur F. Dias Landing; the project will be the culmination of two other Seaport Economic Council grants for the feasibility study and design of this project.

Town of Edgartown, $96,000
The Town will use this grant for engineering, design, and permitting to expand the current comprehensive permit to dredge Lighthouse Beach, the only and highly trafficked entranceway into Edgartown’s Inner Harbor and Katama Bay.

Towns of Eastham & Orleans, $162,100
The proposed project will consist of the routine maintenance dredging of the existing three-foot-deep navigation channel located in Rock Harbor. The channel is the supporting lifeline to an abundance of public, water-dependent infrastructure located throughout the harbor and to accessing Cape Cod Bay. Maintenance is essential for ensuring safe access and use by the local commercial fleet, maritime industry, and recreational/transient boaters. Implementation of the proposed maintenance dredging project is also critical in supporting the Orleans Commercial Wharf Improvement Project and Eastham Harbormaster Building and Site Revitalization Project, both of which are funded by the Seaport Economic Council.

Town of Fairhaven, $200,000
This grant will allow the Town of Fairhaven to be “shovel ready” with all necessary permits and studies completed to enable needed dredging in the West Island Channel in Nasketucket Bay and boat ramp areas. Ultimately, the project will increase the safety and usage of the waterway by increasing the minimum depth to at least seven feet below mean low water, and charting the dredged areas based on post dredge bathymetric surveys.

Town of Fairhaven, $1 Million
The Town will use this grant for the reconstruction of the western side of the north wall, Phase 5 of the overall renovation of Union Wharf. Union Wharf provides the only public, commercial vessel off-load space available to the entire fleet within New Bedford harbor currently primarily used by the commercial fishing industry.

Town of Falmouth, $45,720
The Town will use this grant for Phase I engineering and permitting services for complete replacement of the existing 115’ commercial bulkhead at the head of Falmouth Harbor.

Town of Gosnold, $300,000
The proposed project consists of surveying, engineering, and permitting associated with dredging the existing Town-owned marina, fish pier, and a shoal area outside the USACE channel in Cuttyhunk Harbor. The project will focus on surveying existing conditions, identifying areas and volumes associated with the required dredging. Once the dredge plan is developed, the grant will allow the Town to proceed with sediment sampling and characterization, and permitting with the local, state, and federal regulatory agencies.

Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, $79,836
The Town will use this grant to raise the Tuck’s Point rotunda and walkway, which are regularly submerged during storm events, to meet current engineering standards to accommodate for sea level rise. The substructure of pilings has reached the end of useful life and require annual engineering inspections to determine whether structure load needs to be reduced. Additionally, a siting study will determine if the structure could be located back on the land to preserve this historically important landmark.

Town of Marion, $1 Million
The Town will use this grant for construction of a new Maritime Center/Harbormaster Office. The Town has completed a feasibility study and cost estimate for a new Maritime Center/Harbormaster Office and is currently working under a Seaport Economic Council grant award to complete detailed architectural and engineering plans to include in bid and construction documents; this grant will further advance the project.

Town of Marshfield, $192,000
The Town will use this grant to complete a dredging design and engineering plan for needed maintenance dredging as well as a mooring field regridding project in anticipation of a fall 2022 federal navigation project for all of Green Harbor’s federal anchorage and entrance channel.

Mass Maritime Academy, $1 Million
Mass Maritime Academy will use this grant for the expansion of the Simulation Laboratory Center (SLC) that will provide workforce development training to enhance the safety, cost-efficiency, environmental performance of vessels, and promote opportunities for the emerging offshore wind industry. This project will install a Dynamic Positioning (DP) simulator, expand capabilities of the existing 360-bridge simulator, and upgrade the radar laboratory. The SLC will be integrated in the academy’s undergraduate degree program and offered to maritime professionals in or looking to be in the offshore wind industry.

City of New Bedford, $1 Million
The City will use this grant for a wholesale interior renovation of the bathhouse/lifeguard facility at West Beach, including modernizing and improving the facility for public and waterfront staff uses and making it ADA-compliant.

City of Newburyport, $1.3 Million
The project will rehabilitate the deteriorating bulkheads along the City’s central waterfront by driving fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) sheet piles outshore of the old steel bulkheads. The void between the new FRP sheet piles and old steel piles will be filled with concrete, and the new concrete cap on top will be elevated in anticipation of sea level rise. New fender piles and steel mooring piles will also be installed as part of the project.

City of Revere, $35,000
Fulfilling one of the primary goals emanating from the recent Seaport Economic Council-funded Revere RiverFront Master Plan (2021) process, the City seeks to create a center for non-motorized community boating programs on a site on the Pines River where a dilapidated vacant small boat yard has stood for decades. Funds are requested to support final design and permitting of a dockage system and related waterside resiliency improvements for this purpose.

City of Revere, $1 Million
The City will use this grant to construct the first phase of a public walkway around the perimeter of the master-planned public/private mixed-use development in the 19-plus-acre Revere RiverFront. In 2020, the Seaport Economic Council provided essential funding for a masterplan for this area. A key recommendation stemming from the public input part of the process was the creation of a walkway to allow public access to the Pines and Saugus riverbanks where none now exists.

Town of Scituate, $367,000
This is a project to permit and design dredging for Scituate Harbor to improve the safety, navigability, and accessibility of the harbor for recreational, transient, and commercial boaters. The dredging will take place in four distinct areas: Area 1 includes floating docks currently utilized by the Lobstermen’s Association that are inaccessible at low tides; Area 2 includes the south and western limits of the of the Cole Parkway Marina which have become shoaled and make maneuvering very difficult at low water; Area 3 includes the entirety of the Maritime Center Marina which has shoaled quite significantly since being previously dredged, especially on the north and eastern limits of the marina, making safe maneuvering difficult at low tide; and Area 4 includes the north, east, and south sides of the Town Pier which has shoaled, limiting access and operations of commercial vessels during lower parts of the tide