Governor McKee’s $46 million investment in FY 2023 Budget, hopes to restore life of port of Galilee
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Dan McKee has proposed his FY 2023 budget, which includes an investment worth nearly $50 million in State Fiscal Recovery Fund money to upgrade important infrastructure at Galilee Port. The investment will fund the repair and replacement of bulkheads and docks, water quality, electrical, and security upgrades, and fund defenses against climate change.
“From its origins in the mid-1900s as a cluster of fishing shacks to its status today as the 12th-highest-ranked port by landings value nationwide whose products are served around the world, Galilee is an economic and jobs powerhouse,” Governor McKee said. “Just as important, it’s a working port and fact of life for hundreds of commercial fishermen, businesses that support them, and their families. I look forward to working with legislative leaders to invest in Galilee, ensuring that its businesses can be passed on to the next generation and that it remains one of the East Coast’s most vital fishing ports.”
“Rhode Island is the Ocean State for good reason. Working ports like the Port of Galilee define our reputation as one of the nation’s leaders in the blue economy – an industry that contributes $5 billion to our state,” Lt. Governor Sabina Matos said. “It is vital that we take care of assets like the Port of Galilee by addressing long-neglected maintenance and equipping it to sustain the challenges of a changing global economy and climate.”
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) who run Galilee also have four ongoing projects in the north bulkhead area which total to $15 million in investments. This will go to replacing the nearly 1,000 feet on the bulkhead, which helps it stay strong as a defense against storms. If approved by the General Assembly, Governor McKee’s investment could support the port for decades.
“The Port of Galilee is a complex web of interdependent businesses such as commercial fishing boats, fish processors, engine repair companies, seafood distributors, ice producers, bait suppliers, restaurants, a robust party and charter boat industry, and others,” said DEM Acting Director Terry Gray. “Unlike other fixed assets, there is no ‘normal’ wear and tear at Galilee. The port is a dynamic marine environment that is subject to tide, wind, sun, salt, storms, storm surges, sea level rise, and many other conditions and factors and really needs this attention. On behalf of DEM and all our hard-working partners at Galilee, we deeply appreciate Governor McKee’s unprecedented investment in one of Rhode Island’s most critical economic assets.”
“Since 1930, sea level has risen more than nine inches at Newport, faster than the global average,” the NOAA study found. “Global average sea level is projected to rise another one to four feet by 2100. Increases in sea level will likely increase coastal flooding and erosion during winter storms (nor’easters) and hurricanes.”
Other projects include better parking areas, roadways, storm drains, and sidewalks, new fire hydrants, security cameras, electrical upgrades, and water line upgrades.