Blue Economy Foundation announces Board Changes

Centerville – July 12, 2018 - The Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation, Inc. announced today that John Bullard and Scott Vandersall will join the board, while Jon Hagenstein has been elected as the organization’s Treasurer.

“This is a dedicated, passionate, talented Board committed to a great mission -- advancing the region’s blue economy,” said organization President John Pappalardo.  “Growing and evolving in a sustainable way, seeing our economy from the water and on the water, is critical to our future.”

John Bullard has spent a career in public service, much of it focused on environmental protection.  As Mayor of New Bedford from 1986-1992, he brought the City into compliance with the Clean Water Act by building a secondary wastewater treatment plant, a project that contributed to the health of Buzzards Bay and cost him his job.  He headed the first federal Office of Sustainable Development for the Clinton Gore administration and then returned to NOAA from 2012-2018 to manage living marine resources from Cape Hatteras to Canada.  This included fisheries management and the protection of species such as the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.  Prior to that he served as President of Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, teaching college students about the science of the oceans. As a volunteer, he has been very active on the Board of the Buzzards Bay Coalition.  He and his wife, Laurie live in Westport Point. He is an active sailor having sailed and raced in the Atlantic, Arctic, Caribbean and both Pacifics.

Scott Vandersall is the current Vice President and Regional Manager for The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in Orleans, MA. He has held this position since January of 2017 and is responsible for overseeing the business lending activities in the Lower and Outer Cape Cod Markets, managing a team of three other professionals serving our customers and communities. He has worked for Cape Cod Five since 2015 and has over 30 years of commercial lending and banking experience, with most of that experience in NH and the North Shore and Merrimack Valley regions of MA. He moved to Cape Cod full time in 2013 with his wife Amy and currently resides in West Dennis. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from Colby College and a Master’s in Business Administration from Boston University Questrom School of Management. He is active in the local community serving as Treasurer and board member for Community Connections. He is also a volunteer on the Health Impact Team for Cape and Islands United Way, and a member of the Yarmouth Rotary Club. He enjoys golf, biking, and ice hockey in his free time.

Jon Hagenstein is a partner at Beacon Marine Construction LLC; a company that provides construction services on waterfront infrastructure such as docks, seawalls, and dredging as well as Beacon Crane & Rigging LLC, a mobile crane service provider. Jon grew up in Sandwich with a special love for being on the water. After attending college at the University of Colorado Boulder, he turned that love into a career with Jay Cashman, Inc an international heavy civil, marine, and dredging firm. Working closely with Jay, Jon was heavily involved in new project development and witnessed firsthand how a large construction company was run. He grew into a management position and was able to travel the country working on various waterfront construction projects. The most exciting of which, was managing a multimillion-dollar gold dredging operation in Nome, Alaska. After a semi-nomadic lifestyle at the firm, Jon decided it was time to settle into one place and fulfill the inner entrepreneur that had been calling since he was a child. He always had a love for the Cape and didn’t think twice about starting up a business here. In 2015 he partnered with two of his close friends and bought an existing marine construction business, rebranded it as Beacon Marine Construction, and continued to expand on an already successful operation, including the formation and launch of Beacon Crane and Rigging. Jon is involved in the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod, a committee member of the Joe Cronin Memorial Fishing Tournament, and an active member of the Osterville Anglers Club.

The Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation is a subsidiary of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce that was established to help balance and grow the region’s economy by focusing on its water and coastal resources.

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is a 1,301-member organization that works to strengthen and promote regional economic vitality, while addressing related cultural, environmental and community concerns.

Dieselsmith opens in Dennisport, selling and servicing marine diesel engines

We had the joy of attending the opening party for Dieselsmith in Dennisport. Here is their story, in their own words:

Dieselsmith LLC was founded in 2014 by Lukas Smith and Amanda Bender, both under 30 years of age.  Both are also Cape Cod natives who have decided to build a business here at home rather than seeking opportunity off-cape.

Recognizing an under-served niche in sales and service of marine diesel engines, Dieselsmith serves the commercial fishing fleet on the Cape, summer sport fishing interests including charters and those gleaming white yachts we all dream about. Especially for commercial fishermen who have only so many days per season to “make it or break it” in a given year, Dieselsmith works long hours to ensure fishermen can get out to their grounds reliably, and safely. It goes without saying that 10 plus miles off the coast of Cape Cod is not necessarily for the faint of heart. Proper maintenance in keeping a boat powered in uncertain seas is essential. The same can be said for the many sport fishing charter captains on the Cape, local businesses who are entrusted with the safety of their passengers.

Serving Cape Cod marine interests rain or shine, and earning a good reputation is no small task even for a life-long Cape Codder. For a young couple under 30 years of age, it is unheard of. What’s more, Dieselsmith hires local, both young and old. The son of a commercial fisherman serves as a service technician, and a native Cape Codder recently returned home seeking a 2nd career serves as parts manager.

While the business is all about boats, engines and emergency service calls, there is a long history of creativity embedded in the present day DNA of nuts and bolts. Owner Lukas Smith is one of 5 sons of well known Cape artist Odin K Smith whose family has called the Cape home since Provincetown was first founded. The creativity in Lukas’ bloodline makes for an intuitive mechanic. Customers agree he has a way with engines.

Dieselsmith’s present day expansion into a new facility on Rte 28 in Dennisport is underway and on pace even as it coincides with the start of the summer boating season. In fact, if you’re curious about what they offer, or just want to shop for that 1200 horsepower engine you’ve always wanted, you can browse their auto dealership sized showroom with engines on display for their grand opening with a catered reception Fri night Jun 29 and an open house Sat Jun 30.

All in all, most impressive efforts on the part of two 20 something year olds who were brought up on the Cape and have decided to stay on the Cape, serve the Cape, and hire on the Cape.

Barnstable County Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collections held on Cape Cod are a collaboration between Barnstable County and individual municipalities. The number and frequency of collections vary by town. The household hazardous waste programs work closely with towns to undertake new initiatives for recycling and disposal of difficult to manage wastes. Regional collection programs provide convenient, cost efficient collection of hazardous materials for all Cape towns.

Wellfleet Shellfish Co. one of 7 grantees for seafood marketing

Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG)

CONTACT: Katie Gronendyke

May 22, 2018


BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $72,000 in grants to seven marketing campaigns designed to increase awareness and demand for Massachusetts seafood products. The grants were awarded through the Division of Marine Fisheries’ (DMF) Seafood Marketing Pilot Grant Program, a program created to support the Commonwealth’s fishing and seafood industries.

“The waters off the coast of Massachusetts are home to a fishing industry that is vital to both the state’s history and economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The funds awarded through the Seafood Marketing Grant Program will continue to help increase awareness and demand for Massachusetts seafood products.”

Seven organizations were awarded funding for projects to stimulate demand though education, promotion, and other strategies. These organizations have experience and significant ties to the commercial fishing and seafood industries and communities, focus on different species and span geographical areas throughout the state. Funding for the grant program, now in its second year, comes from commercial fishing and dealer permits through the Seafood Marketing Program.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to the commercial and recreational fishing industries, and the vital role they play within the Commonwealth and around the world,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through the Seafood Marketing Grant Program, Massachusetts is able to continue to support the state’s healthy food economy while promoting and recognizing coastal communities and their contributions to the success of the seafood industry.”

The Baker-Polito Administration launched the Massachusetts Seafood Marketing Program in August 2016 to increase awareness and demand for local seafood products. The program has since announced a partnership with the Massachusetts Farm to School Project to promote the consumption of local seafood in schools.

“The seafood marketing grants will provide support for fishermen and species where it is most needed,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “We are proud to fund these projects being done by our awardees from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the Southcoast.”

“The Seafood Marketing Grant Program continues to enhance the Commonwealth’s support to our commercial fishing industry, fishing families, and coastal communities,” said DMF Director David Pierce. “We support local advocacy and expertise to better to promote the sale of sustainably-harvested, fresh, nutritious, and delicious seafood.”

The following marketing campaigns received grants:

Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Boston: “Procuring Seafood for Schools” – $10,000 – Developing and issuing a collective procurement on behalf of school districts across Eastern Massachusetts and Central Massachusetts. MAPC will develop the specification for the seafood products to be procured, focusing on underutilized or undervalued species from Massachusetts fishermen.

Our Wicked Fish, South Deerfield: “Let’s Make Underutilized Species Accessible and Approachable; Showcasing Underutilized Species to Restaurants and Consumers in Massachusetts” – $10,000 - Western Massachusetts regional market accessibility evaluation of restaurants, workshops for restaurant staff, and outreach events on underutilized species to increase access and approachability.

Williams Agency, Cambridge “Marketing Campaign to Promote Cape Shark within Ethnic Markets” – $15,000 – Promotion of Cape Shark (otherwise known as dogfish) domestically to new markets, including ethnic and Caribbean consumers/eaters in the Greater Boston area as a highlight of this year’s Boston JerkFest, a Caribbean food festival held in Boston.

City of Gloucester/Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association, Gloucester: “Gloucester Fresh Yellowtail Flounder and Monkfish Demonstration and Promotional Program” – $12,000 – For the 'Gloucester Fresh' Yellowtail Flounder and Monkfish demonstration and promotional program at the New England Food Show, and Seafood Expo North America.

Green Crab R & D Group, Ipswich: “Scaling Up from a Small, Occasional Source of Gourmet Seafood to a Robust, Profitable Commercial Supply” – $5,000 – To increase both the culinary supply of value-added green crab products and to increase the culinary demand to ease the pressure on native shellfish species and eelgrass through partnerships with seafood wholesalers and other organizations doing green crab research and development.

New Bedford Harbor Development Commission, New Bedford: “Moveable Feast: Cultivating New Markets for Underutilized Species” – $10,000 – Consumer education about underutilized species through cooking classes, educational material, work with retailers to document the local supply chain, and development of a stakeholder group.

Wellfleet Shellfish Company, Wellfleet: “ Global Seafood, Local Markets: A project to increase consumer knowledge and confidence at the point of sale” – $10,000 – Signage, marketing, employee training, take-home recipe cards, and tasting events to promote lesser-known but plentiful local species with sales monitoring and a survey of customers and staff on willingness to try new species.

“These funds provide opportunities to support the partnership between the City of Gloucester and the Fishermen’s Wives Association as they offer to the marketplace an underutilized species,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “The pioneering and innovative green crab initiative undertaken in Ipswich has taken an environmental threat and turned it into an economic product, the grant will help support our native species while furthering what we know and what we can do with the green crabs.”

“I am pleased to see that the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association is receiving a grant for their promotional program on yellowtail flounder and monkfish,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “Their innovative approach to educating the public on underutilized species plays an important role in the much needed expansion of marketing in light of the current challenges facing our struggling fishing industry.”

“I am happy to learn that the Baker-Polito Administration has chosen to support the innovative efforts of the Green Crab R & D Group by awarding them a grant through the Seafood Marketing Grant Program,” said State Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich). “The R & D Group is working hard to increase the culinary demand for green crabs. This will help reduce the population of this destructive invasive species, and improve the health of the Great Marsh and the soft shell clam industry.”

“New Bedford has the freshest and best seafood in the country,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford), who helped create the Seafood Marketing Program in the Senate in 2014. “Helping educate consumers about the availability of different species makes total sense at a time when popular fish like cod are subject to harsh quotas and federal regulations.”

“There are many delicious seafood options in our waters beyond cod, scallops, and haddock that restaurants and home cooks simply haven’t tried yet,” said State Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral (D-New Bedford). “This Seafood Marketing grant will help expose the community to these underutilized species, allowing New Bedford to cultivate new markets and expand its economic potential.”

DMF’s Seafood Marketing Program works to educate people on seafood availability, preparation, health benefits, economic contribution and environmental sustainability through printed material, events, partnerships and more. Legislators, agency heads and industry members comprise the program’s steering committee.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG, with its divisions including the Division of Marine Fisheries, carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.

Offshore Wind Competition Benefits Massachusetts

By Wendy K. Northcross, CCE

Wind energy has powered the Massachusetts economy and commerce for centuries. Given this rich history, it comes as no surprise that today, an offshore wind industry is poised to power the “Blue Economy” movement that leverages water resources to realize sustainable economic growth.

Achieving the full potential of offshore wind in Massachusetts depends on two essential elements: multiple projects must move forward concurrently and the schedule for subsequent power purchase agreement solicitations must accelerate. These actions provide the best opportunity for the Commonwealth to maximize economic benefits, while growing the industry in a responsible, stable, and incremental but competitive manner.

On Cape Cod, support for offshore wind has not always come easy. But we have learned much, and great efforts have been made to engage the community in a siting process that considers fishing, recreation, transportation, viewsheds, and the natural environment. The resulting Federal Wind Energy Area sited more than 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard was molded with community engagement and minimizes these impacts. 

For these reasons, support comes naturally for three proposed offshore wind projects. All are competing to provide offshore wind generation as part of the state’s goal to reach 1,600 MW of offshore capacity by 2027.

Vineyard Wind proposes to build and operate a 400 to 800MW project that could power over 400,000 homes while improving the resiliency of the Cape’s historically unreliable electric grid. The project has created a $15 million fund to help build a sustainable offshore wind industry in Massachusetts. These monies would bolster development of supply chain, businesses, and infrastructure. It also would pay for partnerships with community colleges and vocational schools to provide job training programs for local workers. The project will have a direct local impact having recently announced plans to open an operations and maintenance facility on Martha’s Vineyard. It even has proposed to support resiliency and emergency planning through distributed storage projects on the Cape and Islands.

Bay State Wind has proposed both a 400 MW wind farm and an 800 MW wind farm with 30 MW and 55 MW battery storage solutions, respectively, which would help ensure power is available during peak hours.  They have entered into an agreement with Massachusetts-based NEC Energy Solutions to create the world’s largest wind paired with energy storage system for commercial-scale energy, which will seek to reduce winter energy price fluctuation. They have agreements with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Bristol Community College, the New England Aquarium and other local organizations which total approximately $2.75 million. Additionally, the developer recently announced a commitment to providing over $2 million in grants for research and programs aimed at protecting the region’s fisheries.

Deepwater Wind submitted Revolution Wind, at the mandatory 400MW and at a 200MW sized farm.  A partnership with First Light Power, the operators of Northfield Mountain, will deliver 300MW of hydro-electric pumped storage capacity - the world’s largest pairing of pumped storage and offshore wind. National Grid Ventures is Revolution Wind’s transmission partner for developing an expandable transmission system.  Deepwater Wind has committed $1 Million to Massachusetts Maritime Academy to support economically disadvantaged students, $1 Million to UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology to study the inter-relationships between commercial fishing and offshore wind, to build crew transfer vessel in the Commonwealth, and to use New Bedford as a port of operations.

Given the promise of these plans, it is critical for Massachusetts to show its seriousness by supporting the nascent industry’s growth, so it does not become overshadowed by development activity under way in New York and other states on the Eastern Seaboard.  Selecting multiple projects from the start, and then taking additional bids every year thereafter would send this message, support continued industry growth, and ensure competition and best prices for everyone.

By ensuring robust competition and diversity in the offshore wind industry from the start, the Commonwealth will pay decades worth of dividends into the state’s economy long after the first turbines are spinning.

Wendy Northcross is Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE.)

Inexpensive, Low Risk Ocean Sensor Testing from MReCo

Testing sensors in the ocean is costly and high risk. Besides the harse enviroment, acquiring data and providing power require planning and often limit the time the sensor can actually be tested. There are also issues with security of unattended sensors. These challenges inhibit development of new sensors and their commercialization, but now there is an alternative.

The Bourne Tidal Test Site was developed to provide a test stand for controlled testing of tidal turbines in ocean waters. Located in the Cape Cod Canal, it provides a stable platform that is easily accessible and in a location secured by the US Army Corps of Engineers. These characteristics have led to requests to use the platform for sensor testing and we are happy to accommodate this need. Currently we are applying for funding to expand the data acquisition capabilities on the platform to allow real time, secure internet access and are seeking sensor developer input to insure we can meet the data communications and power needs of the industry. We are seeking input by April 20th.

For more information or to provide requirements, please email or phone: 508.728.5825

Gills Club Scholarship for Shoals Marine Laboratory Shark Biology and Conservation Course


Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) is offering a course in Shark Biology & Conservation July 16-30th 2018.  The last 30 years have produced an explosion of new information on the biology of the approximately 1,000 living species of sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras, which collectively make up the group Chondrichthyes. This course will cover advanced topics in the evolution, diversity, anatomy, functional morphology, physiology, sensory systems, behavior, reproduction, development, and conservation of cartilaginous fishes.  Read more about the course objectives here

The course is being taught by Gills Club co-founder, Dr. Heather Marshall. 


Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) is pleased to offer a full-ride Gills Club scholarship (tuition, room & board, and the Shoal’s lab fee) for one student. In order to be considered for this scholarship, students must follow these requirements:

-Scholarship is only available to female applicants.

-Students must submit transcripts that support an average GPA of 3.5.  Exception: Employed students with an average GPA of 3.0-3.49 can still apply but must include a proof of employment letter from a supervisor, that shows work hours and length of employment .

-Submit a one-page essay answering one of the following questions:

  • What would it mean for you to take Shark Biology and Conservation at SML?
  • How would this course contribute to your future career goals? 


1) Apply for SML Course:


2) Apply for AWSC's Gills Club Scholarship:


WHOI Center for Marine Robotics Receives NextGEN Award!

The Center for Marine Robotics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) was chosen to receive a NextGEN award by the Massachusetts TechHUB Caucus.

The awards, which were announced Jan. 29, 2018, at the Caucus’ third marquee Innovation Day event at the State House, recognize tech firms and organizations that are leading and innovating in their field and contributing to the Massachusetts tech economy for the next generation.

WHOI established the innovative Center for Marine Robotics (CMR) in 2012 to help speed the development of robotic technologies in the region through collaborations with industry sponsors, academic partners, and key government agencies. CMR was one of six award winners celebrated at the Innovation Day event.

"We're extremely honored to be chosen for the NextGEN award," says James Bellingham, director of CMR and a pioneer in the development of autonomous marine robots. "Massachusetts and New England have been home to the leading innovators in the maritime industry since the age of sail. And now we're leading in the new maritime frontier: marine robotics."

WHOI researchers and engineers have helped shape ocean science and engineering for more than 85 years. Today, the Institution and CMR sit at the center of a growing marine robotics innovation hub in New England.

"We were proud to nominate WHOI and its Center for Marine Robotics for the inaugural NextGEN awards," says Wendy K. Northcross, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. "As an anchor institution in our region’s burgeoning blue economy, WHOI demonstrates success on many levels, and we are excited to share the story of their innovative work and progressive work environment with others. We support the launch and growth of companies, like the Center for Marine Robotics, which are connected to the water."

"Robotic systems are opening the ocean to humans in brand new ways," adds Bellingham. "Odds are that anytime an autonomous robot goes in the water—even on the opposite side of the world—it was likely built right here in Massachusetts."

CMR is developing robots that are changing the way people and machines work together in the ocean. One current project under development is a long-range autonomous robot that will identify and map oil spills that occur under ice-covered oceans. A project of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the vehicle can track an oil plume and transfer real-time data back to ship or shore, giving first responders critical information earlier to make informed decisions.

CMR is also helping drive innovation in the region with the Dunkworks lab, a state-of-the-art, rapid prototyping center that opened its doors last summer. The collaborative facility, which is available to marine robotics businesses on a membership-fee basis, allows users to quickly take designs from concept to tested devices that are ready for application in the ocean.

"Membership in WHOI’s Center for Marine Robotics is a great way for companies of all sizes to grow and be more connected to the world’s leading marine technology cluster found right here in our region," says CMR Assistant Director [and Blue Economy Project Program Director] Leslie-Ann McGee.

Other NextGEN Award winners included: 128 Technology, Burlington; MachineMetrics, Northampton; Optimus Ride Inc., Boston; Partners Connected Health Innovation, Boston; and SolidEnergy Systems, Woburn.

“Today was a terrific opportunity to explore what is possible thanks to the innovations of the businesses propelling Massachusetts forward,” says TechHUB Caucus co-chair Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “The winners of the NextGEN awards are transforming the future of technology and driving the next generation of economic growth.”

The TechHUB Caucus is supported by a Working Group that includes: Dell, Google, MassTLC, TechNet, the MassTech Collaborative, Microsoft, MITX, and Verizon.


The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is a 1,268-member organization that advocates on behalf of business to strengthen and promote regional economic vitality while addressing related cultural, environmental and community concerns. We are a catalyst and advocate for a vibrant economic community in order to create a better Cape Cod and a sustainable future., The Blue Economy Project is an initiative of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce with support from Governor Baker’s Seaport Economic Council and the Cape Cod Commission.  Recognizing that the Cape Cod region’s environment is its economy, the Blue Economy will be the fulcrum that balances our economic and environmental health, creates a new regional identity focused on pride in our water and coastal resources, and supports a more balanced and sustainable year-around economy for its residents. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit

ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEMS - Cape Cod Commercial Fishermans Alliance

The Fishermen's Alliance obtained NOAA's approval to allow local captains to install cameras on their boats to record 100 percent of their trips. These cameras help NOAA monitor the amount and type of discards that occur while the fishermen are fishing. In light of the high cost of having an observer, this could be a cost-effective alternative to on-vessel observers. Additionally, having cameras on board provide better data for fisheries managers. Cameras on-board also create better business flexibility for our fishermen. This project is part of larger regional coalition that is making technological advances in fisheries monitoring. 

Press Release: Cape Cod Chamber releases Blue Economy plan, announces new foundation

Centerville – December 5, 2017 - The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce announced today that it has released its Blue Economy Project implementation plan, and created the Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation, to support the project’s future initiatives. The announcement came as part of an update provided during the 2017 Cape Coastal Conference.

“We are very excited about the community interest the Blue Economy has garnered over the past year”, said Kenneth Smith, Chamber board chairman.  “The ties between our environment and our economic health are undeniable.”

“Leveraging coastal resources as our greatest asset in a responsible way will help bolster our existing economy and bring new opportunities to the region,” stated Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross, “At the same time, we’ll be working to protect this place that we all love, by nurturing industries related to clean water, renewable energy and sustainable business practices.”

Program Manager Leslie-Ann McGee provided a recap of the year’s progress to this year’s Cape Coastal conference attendees, debuted the release of a new video to help promote the blue economy, and discussed some of the future initiatives the project plans to launch.

“We’ve spent the past year listening to residents, businesses, students, officials and everyone in between to socialize this idea.  We really see this as a new regional identity”, said McGee.  “Love for the region, its environment and water resources are a common binding interest that can be used as a fulcrum to grow the blue economy here.”

The Blue Economy Project is a regional initiative led by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, engaging stakeholders to sustain a maritime-focused economy on Cape Cod, the islands and southeastern MA. Building on existing sustainable tourism development, world class marine research, and land use planning dedicated to preserving our environment and quality of life, the initiative also aims for full inclusion with existing economic efforts in the region.

Funded in 2016 by the Massachusetts Seaport Council with a 15-month planning grant, the Project is spearheaded by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Cape Cod Commission, and has a geographic range that includes Cape Cod proper, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and southern Plymouth County.

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is a 1,272-member organization that advocates on behalf of business to strengthen and promote regional economic vitality while addressing related cultural, environmental and community concerns. We are a catalyst and advocate for a vibrant economic community in order to create a better Cape Cod and a sustainable future.

Blue Economy Implementation Plan:

View the Blue Economy Project video:

Cape Cod Natural History Conference, March 17, 2018: Request for Presentations

Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is now accepting proposals for presentations for the 23rd annual Cape Cod Natural History Conference which will take place at Cape Cod Community College’s Tilden Arts Center on Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 8:30 AM-3 PM.

Presentation Topics: Professional or personal research, studies, or observations focusing on the ecology, behavior, status, or distribution of local plants, animals, natural communities, and/or environmental restoration projects on Cape Cod are accepted.  Submissions with results will be favored over proposed research, though all submissions are welcome.

Proposals can be submitted here.

Proposal deadline is December 15, 2017

For more info contact:

Christine Harris Bates
Public Program Coordinator
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
508-349-2615 ext. 6113


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
CONTACT: David Deegan (News Media Only) (617) 918-1017

November 16, 2017


BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded more than $1.2 million to protect and enhance the health of two Massachusetts estuaries.

The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program received $632,000 and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) $622,500 under the federal Clean Water Act. These estuaries are among six designated estuaries of national significance in New England, and among 28 across the nation awarded funds to put programs in place, focused on areas that include the estuaries and surrounding watersheds.

“Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay are extremely important to the regional economy and our quality of life,” said EPA’s Region 1 Acting Administrator Deb Szaro. “These funds will take steps to help ensure the habitats and water quality of the two watersheds are protected and restored.”

Both programs, based in the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management in the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, are part of EPA’s National Estuary Program to protect and restore the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of estuaries of national significance. Funds support efforts to protect and restore key habitats, and improve coastal watershed resilience, and restore water quality, including reducing the impacts of nutrient pollution; outreach and community education are also important components of NEP programs.

“Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay are critical estuarine resources and their protection is vital in the Commonwealth’s efforts to preserve and restore water quality and critical habitat,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The funding awarded through the National Estuary Program will allow the Baker-Polito Administration to continue collaborating with local and federal partners on protecting and enhancing natural resources within Buzzards Bay and Massachusetts Bay.”


The MassBays region is one of the largest estuaries in the country, covering more than 1,000 miles of coastline from the tip of Cape Cod Bay to the New Hampshire border and serving 50 coastal communities. To cover this area effectively, MassBays teams up with organizations in five coastal sub-regions: Upper North Shore, Lower North Shore, Metro Boston, South Shore, and Cape Cod.

Working with these partners, MassBays uses the federal funds to help find solutions to some of the area's biggest problems and to improve habitat conditions and water quality. This year the program will focus on its monitoring program and on developing indicators that measure improvement, as well as completing a major revision of its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

The watershed area around Buzzards Bay is 435 square miles, which includes portions of 21 cities and towns and about 250,000 residents. The bay has 350 miles of coastline and 13 miles of public beaches.

In 2016, the Buzzards Bay program worked with its partners to finalize a revised long-term Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan to address water quality and wildlife challenges.

The Buzzards Bay program works toward its goals together with communities and other stakeholders in the watershed - boards of health, conservation commissions, planning boards citizens and non-profits.

More information on EPA’s National Estuary Program:

Announcing the Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation!


At our Phase I celebration event on November 2, 2017 at the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, the Blue Economy team announced the launch of the Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit. The CC Blue Economy Foundation will broaden the scope of funding resources available to the Blue Economy Project. The inaugural Board of Directors includes John Pappalardo of the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman's Alliance, Bert Talerman of Cape Cod Five, Attorney Eugene Curry, Jon Hagenstein of Beacon Marine, and Stephen Tom of Teleport Consulting.

The celebration included a gathering of about fifty supporters of the Blue Economy Project, and featured presentations from Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing & Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Co-Chair of the Seaport Economic Council, National Marine Life Center Executive Director Kathy Zagzebski, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Ken Smith, and Blue Economy Project Manager Leslie-Ann McGee. See the slide deck here. We previewed the Blue Economy Video, and got a snapshot of the upcoming Blue Economy Action plan, both slated for release by the end of November.

At the end of the presentations our guests enjoyed bites and beverages, and took tours of the National Marine Life Center.

APCC Testifies Against State Takeover of Federal Pollution Program

APCC testified before a state legislative committee on Tuesday in opposition to a bill that would transfer authority from the U.S. EPA to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a federal permitting program that regulates water pollution.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a permit program created in 1972 under the federal Clean Water Act to regulate sources that discharge pollutants to the waters of the United States. The NPDES program's authority includes regulatory oversight of pollution sources such as industrial wastewater, municipal sewage and stormwater.

The proposed legislation, An Act to Enable the Commonwealth's Administration of the Massachusetts Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, would transfer the EPA's longstanding authority of the program to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 

APCC opposes transfer of the program to DEP on the grounds that the state agency lacks the budget or staffing capacity to satisfactorily administer this important pollution control program. APCC is concerned that water quality will suffer in Massachusetts--including on Cape Cod--if the state takes over the program.

Read APCC's letter to the state legislature. 

ARC adds new jobs, nurseries, receives state tax credit

Aquacultural Research Corporation (Dennis) – In 2016 ARC completed a $1.6 million hatchery facility, more than doubling their capacity. They now plan to construct two new nursery locations to support an increased shellfish seed output, representing a three-fold increase in nursery capacity. The company will create six new jobs and retain 17 while making a private investment of $330,000. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Board has awarded $100,000 in state tax credits.

DunkWorks open at WHOI - "Maker" Lab for Marine Robotics Prototyping

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito officially opened DunkWorks on July 20, hosted by WHOI President Dr. Mark Abbott and Center for Marine Robotics staff, including Blue Economy Project Manager Leslie-Ann McGee.

MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Press Release, Jul 20, 2017:

Lt. Governor Polito Celebrates Blue Economy Investments at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Joins Cape Leaders to Celebrate Launch of State-Funded Marine Robotics ‘Maker Lab’; Highlight Support for Upgrades to WHOI’s World-Class Research Facilities

WOODS HOLE, MASS. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Commonwealth and Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council, joined elected officials and business leaders from the Cape Cod region to highlight the Commonwealth’s investments into the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and to tour the Institution’s world-class research facilities. As part of the visit, the Lt. Governor helped WHOI launch the new DunkWorks ‘maker lab’, a Commonwealth-supported research and development facility that is designed to boost innovation in the marine robotics space, helping drive the testing and rapid prototyping of new technologies.

During her remarks at the event, Lt. Governor Polito noted WHOI’s role in driving growth in the marine robotics sector in the Cape and South Coast regions.

“For marine robotics companies looking to develop their technologies, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and its world-class research and facilities make it one of the best partners across the globe,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “The DunkWorks facility and other investments are creating collaborative spaces where innovators can come together, test their ideas, and then make them real. The training opportunities this infrastructure will provide can help truly set Massachusetts apart within this sector.”

DunkWorks is designed as a collaborative ‘maker lab’ or ‘skunk works’ that will allow marine robotics innovators access to cutting edge technologies and work spaces that will allow them to collaborate, create technology prototypes, and test their technologies prior to deployment in the ocean. The new lab will be located in WHOI’s campus in Woods Hole, providing easy access to the water.

"The nature of high-tech innovation is changing, moving faster and becoming more interconnected. WHOI is bringing that change to the emerging marine robotics industry," said WHOI President and Director Mark Abbott. "DunkWorks is a space where researchers and engineers can apply the latest advanced manufacturing techniques to create exciting new undersea systems. These innovations will enable the next generation of ocean scientists to further explore the ocean, and will the foundation for new marine industries.

The new DunkWorks facility is supported by a $5 million dollar award to WHOI’s Center for Marine Robotics from the Commonwealth’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant program. The award is one of six made by the Innovation Institute at MassTech, which makes high-impact capital grant awards in promising areas of technology innovation. This is the first of four R&D infrastructure projects funded under the grant, which will also support upgrades to an existing Pressure Test Facility, a new Robotics Test Tank Facility, and improvements to an In-Ocean Test Environment, projects which will be rolled out over the coming years.

According to “The Massachusetts Robotics Cluster” report sponsored by MassTech and published by ABI Research, global revenue for unmanned underwater vehicles was $2.2 billion in 2015, but is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2020. 

“Marine robotics represents a real growth opportunity for Massachusetts and the Cape and South Coast in particular,” said Pat Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech. “With the help of WHOI and other research hubs, Massachusetts companies will be creating technologies that can address the needs of industries such as homeland security, environmental research, or offshore energy development.” 

MassTech’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant program was established in 2012, with $50 million in capital authorization, to spur additional research and development activity in regions of the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration secured an additional $15 million in capital authorization through the 2016 economic development legislation. 

“The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is on the cutting edge of innovation in both marine science and driving the Massachusetts economy,” said Sen. Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “I am proud that the Baker-Polito Administration has chosen to partner with WHOI on this groundbreaking facility to continue that tradition for the benefit of Cape Cod and the entire state of Massachusetts.”

“As one of the world’s foremost ocean research organizations, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a model of how public investment in the sciences can pay dividends,” said Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “Additive manufacturing is the wave of the future, and a perfect example of how WHOI continues to be on the forefront of technological innovation.”

“Our congratulations and compliments to our colleagues at WHOI for their cutting-edge DunkWorks advanced manufacturing technology initiative,” said Falmouth’s Town Manager Julian M. Suso. “This is a further enhancement of WHOI’s world-class education and research facilities in Woods Hole. We thank the Commonwealth and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for their continued support of WHOI’s extraordinary work in marine science.”

In addition to the DunkWorks launch, Lt. Governor Polito also toured the WHOI vesselsR/V Atlantis and R/V Neil Armstrong, viewed WHOI-produced unmanned underwater vehicles, and toured WHOI’s waterfront workspaces.

A major stop on the tour was WHOI’s Iselin Dock, which was the focus of a grant from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council. In February 2017, the Council made the $500,000 planning award to the Town of Falmouth and WHOI to fund a feasibility study and preliminary design for redevelopment of the Iselin Dock, noting its role as a key enabler of Falmouth’s $400 million annual oceanographic research and marine operations economy. The Seaport Economic Council has invested over $21 million in the Commonwealth’s coastal communities since the Executive Order creating the Council was signed in August 2015, with 49 awards made to date.

“The launch of the DunkWork’s maker lab today adds to the already strong Blue Economy here in the Commonwealth,” said Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice-chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “This is yet another burgeoning area of innovation in the marine industry that this administration and the Seaport Economic Council is proud to support.” 

 In 2016, the Council also awarded a $180,000 planning grant to the Cape Cod Commission to advance the region’s maritime economy and bring increased, consistent, and sustainable prosperity to the Cape and Islands by leveraging its natural coastal resources, the innovative ideas of the local community, and existing marine related industries, to increase the number of businesses and jobs in the Cape and Islands region that are not heavily dependent on the seasonal/tourist economy.


About MassTech:

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is an innovative public agency working to enhance economic growth, accelerate technology use and adoption, and harness the value of research by engaging in meaningful collaborations across academia, industry, and government.  From improving our health care systems and expanding high-speed internet across the state to fostering emerging industry clusters, MassTech is driving innovation and supporting a vibrant economy across the Commonwealth.

About WHOI:

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit

Rangers Offer Water and Beach-Based Programs: Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore’s location makes it ideal for exploring diverse natural resources and habitats through water and beach-based recreational activities. In July and August join park rangers for guided canoe and kayak trips, surfcasting lessons, snorkel tours, beach yoga, and salt marsh explorations. Programs are held daily in locations from Eastham to Provincetown. Equipment is provided for all programs.

“Kayak the Cape” is the national seashore’s newest water-based program. Join us in our new solo kayaks for 3-hour explorations of a marsh, kettle pond, or dune-sided lake. Minimum age is 12, and previous kayaking experience is required. Cost is $45 per person.

Seven “Salt Pond Paddle” programs are offered each week in Eastham. These leisurely, 1 1⁄2-hour trips around Salt Pond are ideal for both beginning and experienced paddlers. Look for crabs and snails, and learn about area history. Minimum age is 6. Cost is $23 for adults and $18 for children age 16 and under.

2017 marks the 10th year of “Yoga at the Beach,” an interdisciplinary class geared to all levels. Our long-time seashore naturalists, who are also certified yoga instructors, will help you stretch your body and spirit in the serenest of settings—Herring Cove Beach on Tuesdays, and Nauset Light Beach on Saturdays. Cost is $11 per person.

“Tidal Flats Foray,” is held on Tuesdays in Provincetown, and “Fish, Snails, and Horseshoe Crab Tales,” occurs on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Eastham. These 1 1⁄2-hour programs are perfect for families, and include a hands-on look at the diversity of life in the intertidal zone. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children age 16 and under.

“Surfcasting 101” is offered on Thursday mornings at Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. You won’t take home dinner, but during this 1 1⁄2-hour lesson you’ll learn the basics of saltwater fishing and practice the skill. Minimum age is 12. Cost is $20 per person.


WHOI and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Office of Environmental Programs will host a discussion on BOEM’s mission to manage development of U.S. outer continental shelf energy and mineral resources, with a focus on using the best available scientific research to inform decisions. Presenters will include Dr. William Y. (Bill) Brown, BOEM's Chief Environmental Officer, and Dr. Jill Lewandowski, Chief of the Division of Environmental Assessment. WHOI scientists will present several relevant projects the Institution is leading in the Northeast, including the newly funded long-term ecological research (LTER) offshore observatory off the East Coast, offshore wind power investigations, and work on marine mammal monitoring and behavior. The forum is free and will be held Tuesday, July 11, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., in Redfield Auditorium, at 45 Water St., in Woods Hole.

Cape Cod National Seashore to Present Wellfleet’s Herring River: New England’s Largest Tidal Wetland Restoration Project on July 13

Join Cape Cod National Seashore’s Natural Resource Management and Science staff on Thursday, July 13 for an inside look at plans to restore Wellfleet’s Herring River. The one-hour illustrated program will be held at 7 pm at the Salt Pond Visitor Center auditorium in Eastham.

The Herring River is the largest tidal river and estuarine complex on outer Cape Cod. Prior to 1909, when the river was open to Wellfleet Harbor at Chequessett Neck, it was bordered by nearly 1,100 acres of coastal wetlands and contained a productive river herring run and shellfishery, as well as extensive salt marsh habitat. In 1909, the natural condition of the estuary was changed dramatically when a dike was built at Chequessett Neck. The purpose of the Herring River Restoration Project is to restore self-sustaining coastal habitats throughout the 1,100-acre estuary by reestablishing the tidal connection between the estuary and Cape Cod Bay.

This program is part of the annual “Salt Pond Evenings” series. Held weekly in July and August in the air-cooled comfort of the visitor center auditorium, programs focus on the diverse natural and cultural resources on the Outer Cape and are suitable for all ages. Programs are free of charge and accessible. The series is sponsored by Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

IF YOU GO: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at 50 Nauset Road at the intersection of Route 6 in Eastham, and can be reached at 508-255-3421. The center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with staff to assist with activity planning. Visit the museum, view a park film, enjoy panoramic views of Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh, and shop in the gift and bookstore featuring national seashore-related items. For more information about the seashore’s programs, visit the park website at