Expedition Blue Bourne Waypoint rendering

Towns advance Expedition Blue participation

May 20, 2020

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce today announced that several towns in the Cape Cod region have committed to showcasing the region’s blue economy by hosting sites in Expedition Blue.

With grant support awarded in 2019 from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council, Expedition Blue is a network of sites that showcase the region’s economic and social connections to water. Each location is envisioned as a “front porch” to the area’s vital blue economy and is supported by an interactive mobile website to give users have a true multimedia experience.

From working waterfronts to aquaculture and commercial fishing, marine technology and science, transportation and recreation, Expedition Blue is designed to bring awareness to Water as Our Way of Life, the vision of the Cape Cod Blue Economy Foundation – a subsidiary of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. It will help define the region’s identity, build a sense of pride in place, inspire current and future generations to consider career opportunities in the blue economy, and understand the importance of protecting our water and coastal resources.

“Expedition Blue is a network of sites in the Cape Cod region showcasing how water anchors our landscape, powers our economy, and inspires our future”, said Wendy Northcross, Cape Cod Chamber CEO. “It tells the story of our region by showcasing the special connection we have to the water that surrounds us from both economic and social perspectives.”

After an engagement campaign last year with communities across the region, over thirty potential sites across ten towns entered the design process including: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Falmouth, Harwich, Nantucket, Provincetown, Sandwich, and Yarmouth. The Town of Barnstable has been the fiscal partner for the Seaport grant through the design phase of the project.

The project engaged architectural firm CambridgeSeven as a key partner in leading development of the design and user experience. A long-time Massachusetts design firm, CambridgeSeven designed and built the Gloucester Harborwalk, was the primary architect for the original New England Aquarium in 1962 and has won numerous awards for their work.

“The project is an exciting, completely unique way to appreciate the Cape Cod region and CambridgeSeven is privileged to be partner in the design. It’s so timely to talk about regional economies that are self-sufficient, resilient and connected to the people who make them thrive,” said Chris Muskopf, Lead Project Architect.

Inspired by the lifesaving shacks that once dotted the Cape coastline providing refuge for shipwrecked sailors, the installations are a series of adaptable modular cubes that allow for contemplation, education and investigation about the region’s past, present and especially, the future. Since not all sites can accommodate a full structure, a kit of parts adaptable to a range of sites and stories has been designed.  Interpretive markers, or waypoints, feature a viewfinder that focuses attention on a particular subject and invites further exploration of a network of other markers, surprising artifacts, and new points of interest. In addition to the physical structures, further resources and connections will be available through an interactive website.

Although the initial sites funded through the state grant must be located on publicly owned land, the network is designed with future expansion in mind. “Other organizations may purchase a site by selecting components from the kit of parts and become part of the overall network if they have a good site and story to tell about our water economy,” according to Program Manager, Leslie-Ann McGee.

Installation of the sites and website launch are scheduled to being in early spring of next year.

For more information and get involved, please email blueconomy@capecodchamber.org

Bourne Case Study

In Bourne, the Expedition Blue installation will be located along the Canal at the Buzzards Bay Recreation Area. It offers a focused view of the Canal, the National Marine Life Center, Mass Maritime Academy, and views of shipping, marine transportation, and recreation.

“Bourne is very excited to partner with the Expedition Blue Project in connecting our residents and visitors with a view into how our unique environment supports and compliments the many current and future Blue economy projects, initiatives, and  businesses” commented Anthony Schiavi, Bourne Town Administrator.

The Bourne Board of Selectmen also unanimously voted to support the project. “The Blue Economy is a fairly recent term for what has been a way of life in Bourne for a long time.  The Expedition Blue Project helps bring appreciation to the traditions, the natural setting, and the possibilities”, said Judith Froman, Chairwoman of the Bourne Board of Selectmen.

“I’m thrilled to have Bourne and the National Marine Life Center included on the trail!,“ stated Kathy Zagzebski, President and CEO of the National Marine Life Center. “The Blue Economy is an integral part of Cape Cod. It particularly resonates with me because at the National Marine Life Center we live the Blue Economy every day. Expedition Blue offers a wonderful way to highlight aspects of the Blue Economy throughout Cape Cod.”