Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gloucester Nets $2.7 Million Marine Science Award

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker came to Gloucester to announce $3 million in capital funding for the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute and for middle and high schools in Gloucester, Lynn, and Salem. The commitment of $2.7 million to support the Institute marked another major milestone in our efforts to advance the science to sustain our fishing industry, and build new industries that will employ a developing workforce with the skills they need.

Six years ago, I was asked to participate in a plan to develop support for a marine research institute on Cape Ann. The idea was powerful and important; because commercial fisheries face numerous challenges it is vital that we identify all possible resources to achieve the mission. Together, we set out to support a world-leading marine biotechnology research institute that connects knowledge with the needs of the oldest working fishing harbor in America.

Years of hard work and the commitment of the Gloucester community was rewarded. I was pleased to join Governor Baker as he announced the funding at the Institute, alongside Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President and CEO Travis McCready, Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, GMGI staff and students.

The expected science-based data on fisheries will have a profound impact on our understanding of marine life and that will shape fisheries management decisions which in turn will impact the economy of our region. Scientists and researchers at the Institute are now making great strides toward accomplishing that mission.

Over the years I have been able to add funds in several Senate versions of the state budget for the Marine Genomics Academy’s workforce training skills program. And, I have worked with colleagues to expand our states commitment to research and development in the life sciences which helps sustain and support the industry. Massachusetts is truly leading the way.

The commitment of funds, and the ongoing interest from elected officials, scientist, the fishing community and others, will help us lead the world and improve the quality of life for people. I told those gathered at the celebration that the official life science policy of this Commonwealth has begun taking us to new heights in scientific endeavors.

The $2.7 million in funding will have important impacts, it will; accelerate the Institute’s work to make Cape Ann a biotechnology hub; promote sustainability in fisheries; advance our knowledge of ecosystems; stimulate economic growth; and inspire people to engage with our natural resources as we never could before.