Cape Cod Chamber Releases Implementation Plan for Blue Economy Project

CENTERVILLE – The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has released the implementation plan for its Blue Economy Project.

The goal is to grow businesses and organizations focused on water resources and engage stakeholders to sustain a maritime-focused economy for the Cape, Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts.

“That could be anything from what’s happening in Woods Hole to marine science research that is happening in Provincetown to wastewater cleanup technologies and new things we will have to invent to keep our water clean and keep the Cape pristine,” said Wendy Northcross, the CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

The regional initiative aims to build on existing sustainable tourism development, marine research, and land use planning to preserve the environment and quality of life for the region.

Northcross said the Cape has so much coastline and water infrastructure to build and develop technologies to boost the local economy.

“This whole planning process kind of identifies what do we have in terms of a Blue Economy already, what do we want in the future and how do we get there?” Northcross said.

The implementation plan was unveiled Tuesday at the Cape Coastal Conference being held at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis.

“It’s kind of exciting. It’s kind of a different tact for the Cape Cod Chamber,” Northcross said. “But we have worked with a lot of partners.”

The public will soon be able to review the 50-page plan, along with a video breaking it down.

The planning of the project was funded through a 15-month grant awarded by the Massachusetts Seaport Council awarded in 2016. The chamber is partnering with the Cape Cod Commission on the project.

The organizations also created a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation, to support the future initiatives of the project.

“In order to attract the resources we need – the money, the people, the talent – to really make good on this promise of a Blue Economy we are going to be out there aggressively seeking grants and funds and donations,” Northcross said.

“The Blue Economy Foundation will work to be a bucket for that to accept those funds.”

Northcross said the non-profit will also be a resource to help bring more entrepreneurs to the region because there will be a source of potential capital.

“We are looking at the foundation as a tool that will attract some of those resources and help make the Blue Economy plan a reality,” she said.

Program Manager Leslie-Ann McGee provided a recap of the progress made over the year during the Cape Coastal Conference Tuesday, along with debuting the video helping to promote the initiative.

“We’ve spent the past year listening to residents, businesses, students, officials and everyone in between to socialize this idea. We really see this as a new regional identity,” McGee said.

“Love for the region, its environment and water resources are a common binding interest that can be used as a fulcrum to grow the blue economy here.”

The implementation plan can be viewed at www.bluecapecod.org/implementation-plan. The promotional video can be watched in the player below.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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