Special to the Journal
The Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $7.8 million in Seaport Economic Council grants to support 17 projects across the Commonwealth. Through these grants, the Seaport Economic Council (SEC) will help coastal communities capitalize on their unique assets to advance economic growth, create jobs, and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The grants were approved at a virtual meeting of the Seaport Economic Council chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
The City of Revere has received the following award: RiverFront Masterplan $100,000
This award will fund a land use planner and a maritime engineer to assist in developing a master plan for the 19.4 acre waterfront Revere RiverFront. The planner and maritime engineer will work closely with the City’s Department of Strategic Planning and Economic Development (DSPED), Superintendent of Public Works, City Engineer, and Harbormaster to gather information and develop this plan. The master plan will examine issues and opportunities, establish a phased implementation timeline, and identify public and private resources available to facilitate the plan’s implementation.
“We are extremely gratified that the Lt. Governor Polito and the Seaport Economic Council recognized the merit of our application for funding for a Riverfront Master Plan,” Mayor Arrigo said. “ We are at a unique time in history to imagine a completely rejuvenated and vital use of the long neglected northeast corner of our City. While Revere has always been known for its Beach, this can be the beginning of a thrilling future for our Riverfront, as well. The recreational facility that already exists at Gibson Park can be enhanced dramatically when it is not surrounded by a vehicle storage yard and an abandoned boat yard. We see the Master Plan process as a first but crucial step toward transforming the area in a way that will help foster coastal vitality as well as coastal resiliency.”
“At the same time, our vision can dovetail with state plans to improve transportation and environmental resistance along the Route 1A corridor. We will treat the Master Plan as a Game Plan for access, recreational offering, and new energy in a dormant area. Ultimately, it will help us work in concert with our neighboring communities as we champion exceptional stewardship of the natural resources of the area. We are excited that the Seaport Economic Council shared our inspiration and will help us seize the unique opportunity.”
“Our administration is pleased to make these new investments through the Seaport Economic Council to strengthen the potential that exists in the waterfronts and maritime sectors of the Commonwealth’s coastal communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This grant funding and these local partnerships will be important as cities and town plan for their economic futures while adjusting to a changing climate.”
“The Seaport Economic Council is proud to award nearly $8 million in grants to support 17 projects that will help coastal communities plan for the future, especially as they work to respond to the effects of the pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Council. “From critical infrastructure upgrades to programming for urban youth, these grants are investments in a Commonwealth and a workforce on the rise.”
The SEC provides grant funding to eligible coastal communities and other entities in support of innovative ideas and projects that promote job creation and economic growth, transformative public-private partnerships, educational opportunities for young people, local economic development planning efforts, and coastal infrastructure improvements. The projects supported in this round range from major infrastructure projects in New Bedford, Fall River, and Yarmouth, to planning grants that will help South Shore communities like Cohasset and Kingston prepare for economic development and climate change, respectively. Additionally, the Seaport Economic Council continues its support for programming that exposes young people in urban neighborhoods to maritime careers and puts them on a path to continuing education.
“As we transition from reopening to recovery, we continue to look for ways that the Commonwealth can help communities and key industries come out stronger on the other side, and these Seaport Economic Council grants are an important part of that effort,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We will continue to partner with municipalities to ensure they have the resources, technical assistance, and infrastructure to meet current challenges and succeed in the future.”
Since its re-launch by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015, the Seaport Economic Council has invested over $52 million through 113 grants in 47 coastal communities, funding projects ranging from local priorities to shared Commonwealth-wide initiatives. Investments in coastal communities are crucial to growing Massachusetts’ economy, promoting public safety, and encouraging environmental protection and stewardship. The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to provide resources and programs, like Seaport Economic Council grants and Massachusetts Dredging Program awards, to ensure that coastal communities can improve, strengthen, and safeguard the Commonwealth’s unique coastal assets.