Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, together with Representative William R. Keating have announced $13.5 million in federal funding to dredge Plymouth Harbor.
In 2020, Plymouth Harbor will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement at Plymouth.
Regrettably, the Harbor has filled up with so much sediment that ships – including the centerpiece of the celebration, the newly-restored Mayflower II – cannot today sail into and out of the harbor.
The newly-secured federal funding will help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers complete this dredging project by 2020 and allow these ships to sail in and celebrate the 400th anniversary.
Last week, Senator Markey and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Ricky “R.D.” James toured Plymouth Harbor and evaluated the immense historical, commercial, and public safety functions the Harbor serves.
“Mainsails and masts may have given way to cargo and cruises, but Plymouth Harbor’s esteemed position in American history lives on,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. “The Pilgrims safely navigated Plymouth Harbor’s waters and their descendants should be able to make the same journey.”
“This new federal funding is terrific news for Plymouth, the South Shore, and our Commonwealth,” said Senator Warren. “The dredging project will help support the local economy, and I’m glad to have worked with Senator Markey and Congressman Keating to get this critical federal support.”
“I’d like to thank Senator Markey for inviting me to tour some of Massachusetts’ key water resource projects: Plymouth Harbor, Boston Harbor, the Cape Cod Canal bridges, and the Town of Sandwich,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Ricky “R.D.” James.
Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter. “Dredging Plymouth Harbor will protect our commercial fishing fleet and expand our port capabilities by allowing small tall ships and cruise ships the ability to move around the harbor without the risk of running aground. This funding comes in the nick of time as we prepare to welcome the world for Plymouth’s 400th celebration!”
In April, Senator Markey led a letter with Senator Warren and Representative Keating calling on the Corps to provide funding for this important project in the FY18 work plan. Senator Markey also met in Plymouth with state and local officials and representatives of Plymouth 400th to provide an update on efforts to secure funding for dredging.