Polito Announces $2.5M for Plymouth Harbor Dredging Project

PLYMOUTH – The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $2.5 million in funding to the Town of Plymouth for a project to dredge the Inner Harbor.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the funding Tuesday, along with other local officials, for the project that will effect nearly 15 acres of tidelands and provide benefits to the local community, commercial fishermen and the tourism industry.

“For the first time ever it will allow access for small to mid-sized cruise ships regardless of tidal conditions – that is music to your ears,” Polito said. “It’ll expand navigation for commercial lobstering and aquaculture – which is really important to us.”

The project will also improve launch, docking and mooring conditions for recreational boaters, increase public safety response times and enhance protection for the Mayflower II.

“If one of your key vessels, the Mayflower II, can’t get here and dock here and be available to visitors, to students and to people of this Commonwealth than we have got a real problem,” Polito said.

The town will match the $2.5 million state award for the project which will be completed in conjunction with a $13.5 million federal dredging project.

The state funding builds on the Administration’s rollout of the 2018 Navigational Dredging Pilot Program which awarded nearly $4 million in funding for 10 saltwater dredging projects to benefit 11 communities.

“Our thinking is if we can improve the coastal infrastructure and leverage that it could create more jobs, more tax revenue to the communities and really create more economic opportunity,” Polito said.

Legislators also included $50 million in funding for dredging in the $1.1 billion economic development bill. Those funds will require a one-to-one match from communities.

“Who would have dreamed that we would have been able to pull this off with everything else that we have to do to prepare for 2020,” said Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Vinny deMacedo. “And yet we are standing here today basically at a place where that is now possible.”

The harbor is being dredged for the first time since 1952.

“It is going to be transformative,” he said.

The federal dredging project by the Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to begin next month. The work is expected to last about 5 to 6 months.

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