Healey-Driscoll: Grants to support dredge equipment purchases

The Healey-Driscoll Administration last week announced more than $1 million in grants to Barnstable County and the Town of Edgartown through the Massachusetts Dredging Program’s Regional Equipment Grant Round, the first grant round to offer focused funding to coastal municipalities for the purchase and regional operation of dredging equipment.

Barnstable County Government photo

The Dredging Program awards grants on a competitive basis with a focus on projects that support the economic vitality, tourism, and ecosystem health of Massachusetts’s harbors while helping the state reach its ambitious climate resiliency goals. 

“Massachusetts’ coastal communities are vital to the state’s economy, attracting and supporting thousands of visitors, fisherman, and commercial vessels each year,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This Earth Week, we are excited to announce grants to help Cape and Islands communities purchase necessary equipment that will allow them to preserve and expand coastal harbors and invest in the commercial and recreational businesses that are key to their economic vitality.” 

“As a former mayor of a coastal community, I know firsthand how important working waterfronts are to our local and regional economies, yet dredging projects continue to be challenging for municipalities to tackle on their own,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our administration is committed to ensuring cities and towns have the resources, equipment, and support they need to take on important saltwater dredging projects along our shores.”   
“For Massachusetts to have a healthy economy, we need all communities and all industries to thrive, including the working waterfronts that are the heart of our state’s maritime economy,” said Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao. “The grants we’re announcing today will support Barnstable County and Edgartown dredging projects by helping them purchase barges, workboats, and other machinery necessary to improve their harbors for the benefit of businesses and fisherman that depend on them.” 

Equipment procured through these awards will strengthen and expand regional dredging services currently operated by Barnstable County and Edgartown.

Planned purchases include a booster barge, two workboats, a survey boat, two skiffs, and two earth-moving machines.

According to Mass.gov, this equipment will increase the accuracy, reliability, and speed of the communities’ existing dredging operations, helping them to reach more harbors and meet greater demand each season.  

Together, the Barnstable County and Edgartown dredging programs support 18 communities and 94 harbors on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.