National Working Waterways & Waterfronts Coalition formed

PORTLAND, Maine — Representatives from federal, state, and local governments and organizations recently announced the formation of a National Working Waterways & Waterfronts Coalition. The coalition was organized as part of the Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access held Sept. 27-30 in Portland.

According to a recent release from the symposium’s organizers, the focus of the coalition will be education and awareness of the value of working waterways and waterfronts to local economies. The coalition will serve as a resource to policymakers at the national level.

Sea Grant programs from around the country, including Maine Sea Grant, Virginia Sea Grant, and Florida Sea Grant, will partner with the Rockland-based Island Institute, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., and the Urban Harbors Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston to form an initial steering committee that will explore funding mechanisms and organizational structure, according to the release.

Rob Snyder, executive vice president for Island Institute, explained the coalition’s purpose by saying, “It’s a key component to ensuring access to diverse, sustainable fisheries that are at the heart of traditional, marine resource-based communities.”

Natalie Springuel, marine extension associate for the Maine Sea Grant, added, “We intend to reach out to those organizations and initiatives who have similar goals and interests in preserving what makes unique and thriving working landscapes.”

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