From press release materials
On 2/25/20, the Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $2.9 million in Seaport Economic Council Grants to support nine projects in seven communities, including more than $1.4 million towards projects in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Mattapoisett. These grants will help advance the mission of the Seaport Economic Council to support working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resilience, maritime innovation and the Commonwealth’s robust Blue Economy. The grants were approved at a Seaport Economic Council meeting, chaired by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at Gloucester’s Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library.
“Massachusetts’ coastal assets are incredibly important to the state’s overall economic health, and our administration’s investments through the Seaport Economic Council continue to expand capacity, resiliency and opportunity in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to continue to offer these competitive grant programs, and partner with local leaders to protect these natural resources and capitalize on their benefits.”
“By investing in locally-grown proposals that respond to a need or plan for the future, the Seaport Economic Council is partnering with communities to continue the momentum that we have seen in the Blue Economy in recent years,” said Lt. Gov. Polito. “We are thrilled to make this funding available today for these nine planning and infrastructure projects, and to encourage communities with saltwater dredging needs to submit applications for the next grant round.”
Since its re-launch by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015, the Seaport Economic Council has invested over $44 million through 96 grants in 42 coastal communities, funding projects ranging from local priorities to shared Commonwealth wide initiatives. In the round of grants approved today, the Council is awarding $2.34 million to support coastal infrastructure projects that include commercial fishing pier reconstruction and complete marina renovations.
This round of grants also provides more than $580,000 in maritime economic planning grants to help fund projects such as waterway improvement plans and harbor master plans that seek to identify opportunities to increase economic activity at established waterfronts and address the challenges due to climate change.
On the Southcoast, the Seaport Economic Council awarded $1.4 million in grants to several infrastructure projects such as $1 million in Fairhaven for wharf repairs, $336,000 to Mattapoisett for a wharf stabilization project as well as to fund a municipal waterways plan, and $64,000 to Dartmouth to fund a feasibility study at Dias Town Landing.
“The Town of Fairhaven is very appreciative of the support given to our town by the Seaport Economic Council led by Lt. Governor Karyn Politio,” said Fairhaven Town Administrator Mark Rees. “This major grant will allow us to continue to rebuild and stabilize our Union Wharf which since its construction in colonial times has served as a major economic development driver for our community and our neighbors in the Fairhaven-New Bedford Harbor.”
“When the legislature funded the council over 20 years ago, and in subsequent years since, we sought to make key investments in critical ports like New Bedford,” said Senator Mark Montigny, who helped create the Seaport Council’s initial funding in 1996. “This latest round of funding will help Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Mattapoisett plan for the future and maximize our waterfront’s economic potential.”
“These investments reflect the importance of maintaining public access to both recreational and commercial users of our coast in both Mattapoisett and Fairhaven. I want to thank Governor Baker’s administration for recognizing the important contributions made by port assets to the regional economy,” said Representative Bill Straus.
Lt. Governor Polito also announced the opening of the second round of the Massachusetts Dredging Program. This standalone grant program offers focused funding for saltwater dredging on a competitive, annual basis. Grant funding will help coastal communities maintain and improve their navigational waterways and support the long-term growth and sustainability of the state’s blue economy. Last year, the Administration awarded a total of $4.1 million to five communities: Beverly, Chatham, Dennis, Hingham and Nantucket.
Any Massachusetts coastal communities are eligible to apply to the dredging program’s 2020 grant round. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with a particular emphasis placed on shovel-ready projects that contribute to the economic significance, recreational value, public safety, and/or coastal resiliency of Massachusetts’ coastal harbors. Applications will be accepted between March 18, 2020 and April 1, 2020 and will be evaluated by the program administrator, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), in consultation with the Mass. Office of Coastal Zone Management. EOHED requires a minimum 50% match for any application to be considered. Learn more at https://mass.gov/massachusetts-dredging-program.
Seaport Economic Council Grant Recipients in Southcoast are
Fairhaven: $1,000,000. Fairhaven Union Wharf Sheet Wall Replacement
This supportive coastal infrastructure grant is for Phase 4 of the overall renovation of Union Wharf, owned by the Town of Fairhaven. The grant will support the reconstruction of the condemned south steel sheet pile wall, to ultimately provide the only public, commercial vessel off-load space available to the entire fleet within New Bedford Harbor. In FY17 the SEC funded Phase 2 of the project which included the west wall which has been completed and in FY18 the SEC provided funding for Phase 3 which included the addition of a Public Safety Marina.
Dartmouth: $64,000. Dartmouth Dias Town Landing Feasibility Study
This award will fund an independent economic feasibility study which will assess the economic demand for and financial feasibility of developing and operating a small boat marina/dockage area at Dias Landing, which would support recreational, transient, and commercial activities. .
Mattapoisett: $216,000. Mattapoisett Long Wharf Restoration
This project will result in preliminary budget estimates for investigation, engineering, and permitting services with the goal of stabilizing the wharf, while maintaining and preserving the historic look of the granite.
Mattapoisett: $120,000. Mattapoisett Municipal Waterways Plan
The grant funding will support the development of a Municipal Waterways Plan which will augment the Comprehensive Master Plan that has just been initiated for the Town of Mattapoisett.
For details on all the projects announced on 2/25 visit https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-3-million-for-local-projects-to-enhance-the-maritime
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