Funds Will Accelerate Rehabilitation of Critical Port Infrastructure to Help Ensure Continued Economic Success for the Regional Fishing Industry and Spur Economic Development and Investment in the Port
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management was awarded a $2.9 million grant today from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) for infrastructure improvements at the Port of Galilee. The federal grant will support reconstruction of the 925-foot south bulkhead from Salty Brine State Beach to State Pier 3 and rehabilitation of 3,200 square feet of heavy duty work pier HH.
The Port of Galilee is operated by DEM and is one of the largest working commercial fishing ports on the East Coast, providing fish, squid and lobster to both national and international markets. Home to over 240 commercial vessels, the Port includes 38 docks and piers and supports hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses, hundreds of jobs, and attracts thousands of tourists. Commerce includes fishing and related businesses, recreational charter and sightseeing boats, ferry service, restaurants, and a hotel.
"Public investment in infrastructure is critical to the future of the fishing industry, and together with Governor Chafee I have made a sustained commitment to invest in the Port of Galilee and other shoreside industry," noted DEM Director Janet Coit. "DEM has a long history of managing construction projects of this size and is adept at doing them in an environmentally sustainable manner. We look forward to taking on this project that will bolster the commercial fishing and tourism industries in Rhode Island and pleased to be the recipient of these federal funds, particularly in such challenging times."
According to a Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation report, the annual value of sales associated with fish landed by Rhode Island vessels is about $200 million and nearly 7,000 people are employed catching, processing, distributing, and selling the fish harvested by Rhode Island vessels.
The total project budget is estimated to be $5.8 million, with half being provided by the EDA grant and half being provided by non-federal dollars from the State of Rhode Island Capital Plan Fund and general operating budget. Construction of the south bulkhead will take place in the fall of 2013 through mid-2014. The engineering design for Pier HH will be completed in the fall of 2013 with construction taking place by late 2014.