Over the past several years, Towns have requested assistance from the Commission to help illustrate the economic value of their harbors to help justify dredging and capital improvement funding to their community and decision-makers. Through the Harbor Study, the Commission evaluated the economic benefits of a set of the region's harbors, starting with six pilot harbors in four towns:
- Provincetown Harbor
- Fish Pier and Stage Harbor, Chatham
- Sesuit Harbor, Dennis
- Inner Harbor and Great Harbor, Falmouth
The Commission collaborated with the Urban Harbors Institute in the spring of 2020 to interview business owners adjacent or proximate to these pilot harbors about their business operations and understanding of coastal hazards. Commission staff used the survey results for an IMPLAN analysis to understand the direct, indirect, and induced effects of harbor-related employment on the broader regional economy.
The report provides resources for towns looking to implement a similar study in their community, as they balance the maintenance and/or enhancement of harbor assets given financial constraints and changing environmental conditions due to sea level rise and climate change.
The National Working Waterfronts Network created a website with information on the historical and current use of waterfront space, the economic value of working waterfronts, and legal, policy, and financing tools that can be used to preserve, enhance, and protect these valuable areas. The report and website can be found here: https://nationalworkingwaterfronts.com/toolkit/