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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3 Million to Protect Seaport from Flooding Near Gloucester, Massachusetts, Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to the city of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to make flood protection improvements needed to protect the city’s vital seaport. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $522,412 in local funds.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping American communities obtain modern infrastructure to protect businesses from natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will support ongoing efforts to expand the city’s role in the global seafood industry and to establish a maritime research and development cluster to compliment the traditional fishing industry. The nearby Opportunity Zone will further diversify the region’s economy.”

“Gloucester’s seaport is the heart of the Cape Ann economy, and these flood protection measures will protect the Water Pollution Control Facility that serves the seaport,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will help the region become more resilient in the face of future natural disasters, and its location near an Opportunity Zone will provide additional incentive for business and economic development.”

“Gloucester’s seaport is an important economic engine for the city, and this funding from the federal government will help ensure the seaport’s infrastructure and businesses are prepared for natural disasters and sea level rise,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This critical funding builds on our Administration’s work with communities like Gloucester throughout the Commonwealth to identify risk areas and build resilience to climate change.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

The funding announced today will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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