Cape Cod’s Blue Economy Initiative Receives $180k Grant

KA_Scenery_sunset_clouds_harbor_pink_winter_022616_055BARNSTABLE – The Cape Cod Commission and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce have been awarded money from the Seaport Economic Council for the Blue Economy Initiative.

The $180,000 grant was part of more than $5 million in economic development and infrastructure awards to advance coastal communities across the state.

“The blue economy is all about expanding and diversifying the Cape’s regional economy beyond its seasonal tourism base and creating a sustainable future based on a marine centered live-work-play economy,” said Chris Adams, the chief of staff for the Chamber of Commerce. “It’s really all about taking what we have here, the resources and assets that we have both manmade and environmental, and using those to create a sustainable future for the Cape.”

The initiative was launched last year and the grant funding will be used for the first phase of the project and includes gathering data, community and business outreach, plan development, marketing and branding.

One of the focuses on the initiative is build on the marine research community and technology cluster already on the Cape.

Adams said efforts will be made to make sure technology created on the Cape is developed into companies that can stay here.

“We’re pairing scientists with entrepreneurs and trying to make sure that we keep those technologies and turn them into manufacturing here in our region instead of them going elsewhere in the country or the world,” Adams said.

Adams said the initiative also wants to take advantage of some the issues facing the region, including wastewater management and sea level rise.

“[Those are] really big challenges for us in a coastal region and what can we do from an economic point of view to help capture those challenges and turn them into opportunities economically that end up benefiting us from an environmental point of view as well,” he said.

The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched by the Baker-Polito Administration in August with a goal of supporting the 78 coastal communities across the state to improve the maritime economy, promote economic development and infrastructure improvements.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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