Port of New Bedford

America's #1 Fishing Port

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About the new bedford port authority

The NBPA is working for you!

Port Director and NBPA Executive Director
Edward C. Anthes-Washburn

NBPA Commissioners:

Mayor Jonathan F. Mitchell, Chairman
Dr. Brian Rothschild, Vice Chairman
Patricia Lareau, Treasurer
Davis Sullivan, Clerk
Richie Canastra
James Dwyer


The NBPA has jurisdiction over all of the coastal waters in New Bedford, including the entire coastline of the peninsula, the New Bedford Harbor (the “Harbor”), and north along the Acushnet River to the city’s boundaries. The NBPA represents a wide array of harbor interests and manages and operates City-owned property on the waterfront with the goal of maintaining a diverse economic base for the city by retaining and encouraging maritime and water-related businesses. The NBPA’s primary roles are to:

  1. Provide a high level of customer service in a cost-effective manner through adequate infrastructure and the efficient operation and maintenance of its existing facilities and services; and
  2. Promote the Port as “business friendly” through the support and retention of existing maritime businesses and activities, and the facilitation of new business opportunities along the waterfront. 

Mission Statement

The New Bedford Port Authority’s primary charge is to support The Port of New Bedford through:

  1. The implementation of best management practices over port resources
  2. The development of economic growth strategies

To this end, it is the goal of the New Bedford Port Authority to keep New Bedford on top as the #1 U.S. fishing port, expand existing businesses and capitalize on new opportunities that will maximize The Port’s potential as an economic engine to create jobs and strengthen the New Bedford economy.

about the New Bedford port authority

The NBPA (formerly Harbor Development Commission) was created by the Massachusetts General Court under Chapter 762 of the Acts of 1957. As such, the NBPA is not a Department of the City, but rather an autonomous body charged with managing the Port. Chaired by the Mayor, the Commission consists of seven members as appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. The term of the Commissioners is three years. The New Bedford enabling legislation gives the NBPA the authorities of the harbormaster and the responsibility to manage commercial and recreational vessel activities over all the waters within the New Bedford city limits. The crucial day-to-day operations and decision making is the responsibility of the NBPA staff headed by an Executive Director.

The NBPA manages all City-owned waterfront property, including Homer’s, Leonard’s, Steamship, Coal Pocket, and Fisherman’s Wharves, as well as a 198-slip recreational marina at Pope’s Island and 19 real estate assets. The NBPA also assigns moorings and enforces rules regarding use of piers, wharves, and adjacent parking areas under its jurisdiction, and issues permits for harbor events and for use of city-owned waterfront facilities. The harbormaster acts as an agent of the NBPA.

The NBPA represents a wide array of harbor interests and one of its primary roles is to support economic development along the waterfront. The NBPA has planning, developing, and financing authority for city properties within the Port. For over 40 years, the NBPA has overseen private development on the waterfront and has actively developed locations for marine industrial use, including North Terminal, South Terminal, and the New Bedford Ferry Terminal at State Pier.

The NBPA assesses user charges and fees for vessels and businesses that use its facilities. The NBPA also leases properties, usually involving long-term arrangements. These revenues are used to operateand maintain the City’s waterfront property. The NBPA receives no money from the general fund to support its operations and, with the City Council’s approval, the NBPA may borrow and issue municipal bonds for capital improvements.




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