Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito recently joined Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Congressman Seth Moulton, members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army Corps to announce a $2.4 million Massachusetts Dredging Program award for the Annisquam River Dredging Project.
The award, which Governor Baker announced last week at the Gloucester Coast Guard station, is in addition to $4.1 million in state funds awarded to five communities since March 2019 in the Commonwealth’s first-ever Massachusetts Dredging Program grant round to support dredging in coastal communities.
This funding will support a federal maintenance dredging project that leverages $5.7 million in federal funding to address dangerous shoaling conditions that have reduced available depths in the Annisquam River.
“The success of last year’s Navigational Dredging Pilot Grant program highlighted the impact of investing in locally focused initiatives and led us to create the Massachusetts Dredging Program to continue to support the priorities of seaside cities and towns and bolster our maritime and tourism economies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The dredging of the Annisquam River will immediately benefit Gloucester’s commercial fishing operations, significantly enhance public safety emergency response and improve navigation for all who take advantage of this natural resource.”
“As the chair of the Seaport Economic Council, I am acutely aware of the opportunities and challenges facing our 78 coastal communities, and our administration is pleased to partner with cities and towns on critical projects like saltwater dredging and climate resiliency to strengthen and protect these natural assets,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
“The Massachusetts Dredging Program is an important economic catalyst for coastal communities and the Commonwealth’s blue economy,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are committed to responding to the unique needs of our cities and towns, and our new dredging program is an excellent example of how the Baker-Polito Administration continues to partner with municipalities to support economic growth.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the City of Gloucester, will remove an estimated 140,000 cubic yards of material from approximately 20 acres of the Annisquam River, including a significant portion of the Lobster Cove anchorage.
This project will restore the federal channel and anchorage to their authorized depth of -8.0 feet MLLW. Construction is expected to take two seasons and will occur within the construction window of October 1 to January 31 of any given year.