PLYMOUTH — Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito came to the Plymouth Town Hall on Tuesday, October 9th to deliver some much anticipated news regarding the State’s contribution to the dredging of Plymouth’s inner harbor. Plymouth Board of Selectmen Chair and President of the Plymouth 400 Board, Ken Tavares accepted a $2.5 million reward on behalf of Plymouth. The town will complete the project with a match of another $2.5 million. Moving this project forward is a huge win for the town who hasn’t seen it’s harbor dredged since the 1950s, prior to the arrival of replica ship, Mayflower II. A historic vessel now in it’s own right, restoration operations are currently underway at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT but the harbor has become far too shallow for her to return to port. A fully dredged harbor will have a positive impact on tourism which is the largest economic driver for Plymouth and the third largest industry for the entire Commonwealth. The local community and commercial fisherman will also reap the benefits of this long-overdue project.
The funding announced on Tuesday will be over and above the $13.5 million federal dredging project scheduled to begin this fall with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Plymouth, Massachusetts 400th Commission Chair, Dusty Rhodes could not be more optimistic about these latest developments and remarked that the federal and now state and local financial commitment will help to “transform the entire port of Plymouth into a tourism and hospitality opportunity far greater than its current visitation of 1.5 million annually.” She went on to say “…economic maritime opportunities have not been realized due to the lack of depth at mean low water, in both the channel and Plymouth Harbor. Mean low water in the channel is 5’ and in the harbor, the mooring field, the mean low water is about 2’.”
“This project will enable, for the first time ever, cruise ships to access Plymouth as a port of call, opening up this region for significant new tourism opportunities, and preparing the region for a major influx of visitors for Plymouth 400 in 2020,” said Lt. Governor Polito.
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “we are pleased to partner with Plymouth to support this important effort and look forward to continuing to work directly with municipalities to further refine our existing tools and ensure our flexible resources support locally-driven projects and set communities up for long-term success.”
Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi remarked that “dredging will maximize the use of the new T-Wharf and the repairs to Town Wharf, two projects that the Commonwealth and the Town successfully partnered on to complete. Lastly, this work will become a legacy project for the Plymouth 400th Commemoration by ensuring that the berth for the iconic Mayflower II is sufficiently deep upon her return to Plymouth Harbor.”
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their outstanding support as we continue to invest in our community as the Plymouth 400 commemoration approaches,” said Senator Vinny deMacedo.
“Plymouth Harbor was last dredged more than 60 years ago and I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition and grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support,” said Representative Mathew Muratore. “A dredged harbor will create an economic boon for years to come for our fishing, business, and tourism industries, provide additional rooms as small cruise ships will be able to anchor overnight in Plymouth Harbor, and alleviate additional parking concerns as more boats transport people into Plymouth to enjoy all that it has to offer.”
About the Plymouth, Massachusetts 400th Commission
On September 20, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed an Executive Order, which reaffirmed and expanded the 35-member Plymouth, Massachusetts 400th Commission, who were charged with ensuring a befitting national and state observance of the settlement of Plymouth Colony in 1620, including opportunities for local, state, national and global educational programming and interaction and a reflection of Massachusetts’ rich history, natural resources and diverse cultural contributions.
About Plymouth 400, Inc.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2009 in Plymouth, Massachusetts formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony in 1620. The Plymouth 400 Commemoration will highlight the cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the interaction of the Wampanoag and English peoples, a story that significantly shaped the building of America.
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