Port of New Bedford

America's #1 Fishing Port

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Planning & Tourism

The NBPA works with Fairhaven and other groups to plan for and promote our Harbor

New Bedford Economic Development Council & Tourism

The NBEDC works cooperatively with dozens of local, state, and federal agencies, including the NBPA to pursue economic development opportunities. Through the service programs, the NBEDC can assist with:

  1. Structuring financial assistance and tax incentive packages;
  2. Finding commercial property available for lease, sale or development;
  3. Facilitating introductions to other federal, state and local support agencies; and
  4. Providing technical assistance for project development.

The NBEDC works closely with the NBPA to coordinate excursions and activities throughout the City in support of tourism with the theme Destination New Bedford.The HDC also works directly with the NBEDC on economic development efforts, including encouraging and attracting maritime businesses (i.e., loan programs) to New Bedford’s waterfront in order to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. 

New Bedford / Fairhaven Harbor Plan 2010

The Municipal Harbor Planning regulations (301 CMR 23.00 et seq) establish a voluntary process under which cities and towns submit Municipal Harbor Plans to the EEA Secretary for approval. These plans serve to promote and implement a community’s planning vision for their waterfront as well as inform and guide state agency decisions necessary to implement such a vision.

The New Bedford / Fairhaven Harbor Development Plan - 2010 has some notable changes since the first Harbor Plan was submitted in 2002. These include: the modification of fisheries management regulations; an increase in cruise ship visits; projected expansion of short sea shipping; authorization for offshore renewable energy projects and the need for onshore industrially-based support facilities; an expansion of import/export activities; and an interest in increasing opportunities to serve as a service port for large yachts and increased recreational boating.

The local planning process identified four goals:
• Support and enhance the fishing and seafood processing Industries
• Rebuild, improve and add to the Harbor infrastructure
• Capture new opportunities in tourism, short sea shipping, recreational boating, import/export, and alternative energy
• Enhance the harbor environment through leadership in recycling and energy conservation under a “Green Port” initiative

City of New Bedford Planning Office

The Planning Office is responsible for providing sound, unbiased planning practices, resulting in the implementation of short and long-term plans and policies for the City of New Bedford. The Planning Office administers the local and state regulations regarding land use and land reuse, oversees the site plan review process for construction projects and reviews proposed signage for compliance with the city's sign ordinance. The NBPA maintains a close relationship with the Planning Office in order to implement the city’s vision for future waterfront development. The HDC coordinates closely with the Planning Office when implementing development projects.

MA Office of Travel & Tourism

The NBPA works with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) to promote New Bedford as a visitor friendly destination. The HDC actively welcomes tour groups, cruise ships, recreational boaters, ferry passengers and tourists and works tirelessly to accommodate their needs.

New Bedford Parks & Recreation Department

The NBPA coordinates with the New Bedford Parks and Recreation Department in regards to the multiple park assets along waterfront. The HDC maintains a good working relationship with the Department in order to ensure that the city’s shared vision for its parks is implemented consistently. Specifically, the HDC controls the boat ramps that abut waterfront parkland.

The MA Office of Coastal Zone Management

The MA Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is under the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs.  CZM's mission is to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources. CZM works with other state agencies, federal agencies, local governments, academic institutions, non-profit groups, and the general public to promote sound management of the Massachusetts coast. New Bedford is part of CZM's South Coastal Region.

The Office of CZM implements many programs related to management of the ocean and the Commonwealth’s coastline, including the Port and Harbor Planning Program. The primary goals of this program are to:

  1. Help ensure that waterfront areas in the Commonwealth grow in a safe, environmentally sound, and economically prosperous manner.
  2. Balance potentially competing uses within a harbor or port to maximize public benefits.

Specific strategies include promoting meaningful public access to the water's edge and encouraging the creation or expansion of water-dependent facilities in developed port and harbor areas.

CZM has developed a set of regulations for the Review and Approval of Municipal Harbor Plans (301 CMR 23.00) that articulate the steps and standards that must be met for a harbor plan to be formally approved by the state. These steps and standards are necessary because state-approved harbor plans have the ability to modify certain dimensional and use standards and guide the application of other requirements within the state's Chapter 91 Waterway Licensing Regulations (310 CMR 9.0). Many of the major ports in Massachusetts, including New Bedford (in coordination with Fairhaven) have either completed a state-approved harbor plan or are in the process of developing one. CZM also provides assistance and guidance for less-formal harbor planning activities to address community needs.

Seaport economic Council

The Seaport Economic Council advises the Governor about seaport development policy and coordinates seaport development activities in Massachusetts ports, including New Bedford, Boston, Gloucester, Fall River, and Salem. 

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