Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Seaport Economic Council Comes to Gloucester

From the days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to today, the significance and vitality of coastal communities in the Commonwealth has been profoundly important. That’s why I worked to develop and support the legislation that created the first incarnation of the Seaport Council in the Seaport Bond Bill of 1997. I have worked over the years with the council to deliver strategic investments for our working ports.

Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have reorganized and revitalized the former Seaport Council as the new Seaport Economic Council. In his first year in office Governor Baker reinvigorated the Council by reshaping its mission, and its available tools, through an Executive Order which seeks to improve the vitality of our 78 coastal communities.

Yesterday, the Council had its first meeting of the year and it took place at the Tavern on the Harbor in Gloucester. I met with the Council, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Seaport Economic Council Executive Secretary Carolyn Kirk and others.

Specifically, we are marshaling resources of the Seaport Economic Council to work with maritime communities to promote job creation and economic growth in sectors such as; shipping and trade; marine science and technology; recreation and tourism; ocean-based clean energy; and our diverse seafood industry.

Attending the Council meeting were leaders of several initiatives seeking financial and technical support from the state including:
• Dartmouth Maritime Center,
• UMass Tethered Ballast System for Wave Energy Devices,
• Cape Cod Maritime Economic Development Commission,
• New Bedford Local Maritime Economic Development Planning Commission,
• Massachusetts Maritime Academy Pier Extension Project, and
• Gloucester Branding Campaign for “Gloucester Fresh Seafood”.

From Mayors to Harbormasters, fishermen to ship builders, scientists to scuba divers, we will work together to leverage resources at the local, regional and state levels to revitalize and strengthen industries, enhance cultural and environmental assets, and promote other sustainable opportunities which will empower communities for years to come.

The Seaport Economic Council, and those of us who support the mission of strengthening our coastal communities through collaboration, know that a rising economic tide will lift all boats.