Ongoing Coastal Resiliency Projects
COHASSET, MA: Lt. Governor Karyn Polito yesterday joined members of the Seaport Economic Council, local elected officials and community members in a series of visits to economic development zones in the towns of Scituate, Cohasset and Hull. In February 2017, the Seaport Economic Council (SEC) awarded $5 million in grant funding for 13 coastal communities to improve local infrastructure and drive maritime economic development. Lt. Governor Polito travelled to three sites — Cole Parkway Municipal Marina in Scituate, Cohasset Harbor, and Pemberton Point in Hull — to see how SEC funds are enhancing coastal assets and improving Massachusetts’ maritime economy.
“Through proper investments and collaboration between state and local government, our 78 coastal communities are addressing challenges associated with climate change, revitalizing coastal infrastructure and creating jobs in the maritime economy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, co-chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “I am pleased to see progress unfolding, not only in Scituate, Cohasset and Hull, but along the coast and in the Cape and Islands.”
The Seaport Economic Council has invested over $28 million in the Commonwealth’s coastal communities since the executive order signing in August 2015, with 61 awards to date in 36 cities and towns.
In March of 2018, the Baker-Polito Administration filed a new economic development framework and legislation to build on the administration’s efforts to promote economic vitality and spur economic growth across the state. This bill proposes $50 million for the Seaport Economic Council to continue to stimulate the maritime economy, create jobs and protect coastal assets, as well as $300 million to respond to and prepare for extreme weather, sea level rise, inland flooding and other climate impacts.
“The investments from the Seaport Economic Council grants to Scituate, Cohasset, and Hull have provided these communities the opportunity to plan for and implement their coastal development initiatives. We appreciate Lt. Governor Polito visiting these communities to see the positive impacts of these investments,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R – Weymouth). “I’d like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support to the communities of the South Shore.”
“These partnerships enable each community to unlock their unique economic potential for both local and regional community benefit. I am pleased to work closely with the Baker-Polito administration on behalf of the Towns of Cohasset, Scituate, and Hull to bring strategic investments through state grant programs to create jobs, to enhance our local economy and maintain vibrant, livable communities,” said Representative Joan Maschino (D – Plymouth).
Last year, the SEC awarded the Town of Scituate a $560,500 supportive coastal infrastructure grant to improve the Cole Parkway Municipal Marina, which provides a docking system for recreational boats as well as facilities for the harbormaster, police, fire boats and the U.S. Coast Guard seasonal patrol boat. With SEC funds, Scituate is renovating the marina’s outdated pier by creating a permanent pile-support system and updating the dock’s anchoring system.
Lt. Governor Polito also announced an additional $280,000 in SEC funds for the continued development of the Cole Parkway Municipal Marina, which is expected to be completed in June 2019.
“We would like to thank Lieutenant Governor Polito and through her, Governor Baker, for their continued commitment to helping cities and towns maintain and improve maritime facilities and for recognizing the vital role our harbors play in keeping the Massachusetts economy strong and vibrant,” said Scituate Town Administrator Jim Boudreau. “Scituate Harbor is a working harbor, and the improvements we will be making will help us insure that it will stay a working harbor and an integral part of the Scituate and Massachusetts economy.”
The Town of Cohasset received $80,000 in a local maritime economic development planning grant to create a harbor management plan for Cohasset Harbor by utilizing a consultant to work with community members in studying, mapping, and assessing existing and potential economic infrastructure assets.
In addition to resolving environmental issues relating to the harbor, the management plan will help drive economic growth by spurring marine-related retail businesses surrounding the harbor.
“The Harbor is Cohasset’s greatest natural resource. With the help of the Seaport Economic Council grant, the Town’s first harbor management plan is now well underway,” said Town Manager Chris Senior. “This plan will be critical to identify key steps needed to preserve the Harbor for both commercial and recreational uses for many years to come. We appreciate the Lt. Governor’s visit and look forward to working collaboratively with the Seaport Economic Council on future projects.”
The Town of Hull received $109,000 in SEC funding, which includes a $45,000 local maritime economic development planning grant to study the redevelopment of Pemberton Point and an additional $64,000 to develop a unified work plan for the revitalization of Nantasket Beach.
“The unprecedented and continued support to cities and towns from the Baker-Polito Administration in the form of economic development grants is greatly appreciated. Hull’s grant funds will help to create more vibrant and dynamic neighborhoods that are economically sustainable,” said Town Administrator Phil Lemnios. “The town’s legislative delegation working with the Baker-Polito Administration is helping to leverage public funds to fulfill Hull’s vision of a great seaside community to visit and live in.”