The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Coastal Program has announced that four coastal municipalities will be awarded $52,239 in Shore and Harbor Planning grants. These awards will provide planning and design support for harbor management, infrastructure and public access along the Maine coast.
The grants are made possible by Maine’s federal coastal management award from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The grant program, an important component of the Maine Coastal Program, balances the development and conservation of Maine’s coastal zone by providing technical assistance to coastal municipalities for planning and public access. Each grantee will provide a minimum of 25% in matching funds or services.
“Commercial and public access to Maine’s coastline is important for fisherman, businesses that rely on tourism and public enjoyment of our natural resources,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “These projects will promote local access and economic activity along the Maine coast.”
“The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry partners with many communities to improve coastal access for commercial and recreational users,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “Our Maine Coastal Program Grants helps provide communities with technical assistance, infrastructure design and expanded access to Maine’s coastal resources.”
Grants were awarded as follows:
1. Town of Chebeague Island: $20,000 for the assessment of a town-owned coastal parcel called Sunset Landing for its potential future use. The Town has already completed an initial phase of the project, and it will use this funding to complete the second phase, which includes a bathymetric survey, eel grass survey, wind-wave vulnerability analysis, and archaeological investigations. This information, displayed on a composite map, will allow the Town to present options to residents in a public process, and ultimately determine the best use for Sunset Landing.
2. Town of Richmond: $7,239 for the planning and design of a pedestrian walkway to connect public access to Richmond’s waterfront. The Town will use the funding for engineering and design services along with boundary and legal work to obtain an easement and plan and design a walking path that will link two important public access sites along the Kennebec River that serve this coastal community: Richmond Town Waterfront and Swan Island State Boat Launch.
3. City of Rockland: $15,000 for design and engineering to improve Rockland Public Pier. The City will solicit bids for engineering and design services to facilitate the improvement of this pier that was built in 1935 and serves the Midcoast region of Maine, where there is ever-growing demand for these public assets. Working with the Harbor Commission and the Harbor Park Redesign Committee, the City will integrate the new design for Rockland Public Pier with plans for Harbor Park, allowing both community facilities to continue to serve the public in the future.
4. City of Rockland: $10,000 for planning new technology improvements and a dredge survey for Rockland Fish Pier. The City will contract for engineering services to survey around the pier in order to confirm and clarify costs for future dredging, which will be part of a larger plan to make significant capital improvements to Rockland Fish Pier. The City will also hire a consultant to investigate and advise on other possible upgrades to the pier, including new equipment such as hoists, energy efficient freezers, or even new technologies that may be employed to reduce fish odor and nuisance. This pair of assessments will allow the City to improve the overall Fish Pier facility and secure its future providing critical public access for the lobster and commercial fisheries while balancing the needs of other users.