MMA Waterfront Protection and Marina Project Opens with Ribbon Cutting

BUZZARDS BAY – State and local officials cut the ribbon Thursday on a $2.5 million waterfront project at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay that will be used by public safety agencies and ocean-based marine contractors.

Money came from the Buzzards Bay school, the Seaport Economic Council and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Located at the tip of Taylor’s Point on the campus, the dock and pier system will be used by contractors working on offshore projects, such as wind farms, and for water-based emergency responder training.

“It most certainly serves the Maritime Academy’s education and training mission as we develop tomorrow’s maritime leaders,” said Adm. Francis McDonald, the president of MMA. “But it also brings together maritime life safety, environmental response and marine enforcement assets from federal, state and local municipalities at this critical juncture where the Cape Cod Canal meets Buzzards Bay.”

Agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Massachusetts Environmental Police, State Police and local police and harbormasters will also use the facility for staging and operations when needed.

The new Waterfront Protection and Marina will also be used to service the states burgeoning marine hydrokinetic industry.

“If you are looking for a project that hits our Commonwealth’s Blue Economy at multiple levels, friends, this is your project,” McDonald said.

In 2016, the state’s Seaport Economic Council awarded the school a supportive coastal infrastructure grant in the amount of $1 million for the project.

Lt. Gov. Karen Polito said the development of the project came at the perfect time for Massachusetts. The completion of the marina follows the state choosing Vineyard Wind as the first offshore wind energy development. The 800-megawatt wind farm proposal south of Martha’s Vineyard could generate enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

“We are going to need a lot of help in making sure that we have people with the right skills to be able to not be able to construct the infrastructure that is needed for [Vineyard Wind] but then to service it in the future,” Polito said.

“And being the only wind project like this at this size on the eastern seaboard you have to think there aren’t a lot of people around here that have the skills to do that work.”

Polito said the infrastructure will also help first responders in emergency situations that arise from the effects of climate change.

“This docking system will house the various agencies that need to respond in bad weather events and need to be available to cities and towns that suffer damage because of the coastal impacts that storms are having,” she said.

The Waterfront Protection and Marina officially opened for business this week.

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