WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a $2.9 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management to “rehabilitate critical infrastructure” at the port of Galilee, lawmakers announced Friday.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine joined Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin in Narragansett Friday to make the announcement.
In a statement, Erskine said that the EDA grant would help “ensure the continued economic viability of Rhode Island’s fishing industry” as well as spur economic development, tourism and new investments in the Narragansett area.
“Modernizing the Port of Galilee is a smart investment that recognizes the importance of the fishing industry to our economy and will help spur business activity, create jobs and boost Rhode Island’s economy. Fishing is critical to our economy. Strengthening the port’s infrastructure is key to its long-term stability and our state’s economic future,” Reed, a Democrat and a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees EDA funding, said in a statement.
The $2.9 million EDA investment is earmarked to support major repairs at the port, which were described as an “important regional center” for commercial and recreational fishing, as well as tourism. Slated repairs include replacing 925 linear feet of bulkhead from Salty Brine State Beach to State Pier 3 and rehabilitation of 3,200 square feet of Pier HH.
According to a release, the project is expected to create 21 new jobs, retain an additional 685 jobs, and generate $720,000 in private investment.
“This is welcome news for the Port of Galilee and the businesses that call it home,” said Whitehouse, who arranged a tour of the Port with DEM for the EDA, and joined the delegation in supporting the grant application. “Commercial ports and working waterfronts are vital to Rhode Island’s economic future. This federal investment at Galilee will boost the fishing and marine trades industries which provide critical jobs for Rhode Islanders.”