2015 State of Our Harbors: An Examination of Massachusetts Coastal Harbor Conditions and Related Economic Parameters

Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2016


Coastal harbors throughout Massachusetts play an integral role in the region’s recreational and commercial water uses such as ferry transportation, recreational boating, commercial fishing, shipping, and safety/security; however in many harbors, the ability to support these types of uses requires dredging to keep the waters safe and navigable. On behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the Urban Harbors Institute prepared an update to the 1990 The State of Our Harbors report, which provided information about dredging needs in Massachusetts and documented economic benefits associated with safe navigable harbors. The report update documents the current public dredging needs of the harbors, as well as the public dredging needed in the next 5-10 years. Additionally, the report presents data documenting the economic value of dredging to the state and local economies. Data for the report were gathered 1) through surveys of harbormasters in the 73 coastal municipalities in Massachusetts, and 2) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) database. UHI created maps of boating facilities and dredging sites for each harbor, and work is currently underway to design a system for efficiently updating the data gathered for this report.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //scholarworks.umb.edu/engage