The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has awarded the city of Rockland, Maine, an $830,000 grant to renovate its commercial fish pier.

The renovations will support the region's lobster and herring fleets.

The project will include resurfacing the pier, stabilizing the storage areas, and upgrading the electrical system. According to the administration, the investment is expected to help retain 86 jobs.

"The grant for the Rockland Municipal Fish Pier will have a positive impact to Rockland’s local economy and fishing industry. Rockland should continue to find a balance between the tourism industry that has seen tremendous growth in the past two decades and the long history of fishing and maritime tradition," said Casey O'Hara, the assistant treasurer for the Maine- and Alaska-based fishing company O'Hara Corp. The company has some offices located in Rockland. "The impact of the herring and lobster industries benefit not only Rockland but the entire state of Maine."

The $830,000 grant will be matched by a $350,000 federal grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission as well as funding from the Maine Department of Transportation and city of Rockland, according to a release from Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). The total cost of the project is projected to be $1.66 million.

"The EDA is an important source of investment for Maine, which is why I have been proud to work with appropriations colleagues from both sides of the aisle to protect its funding from being eliminated, as the Trump administration has proposed the last two years," said Pingree. "The jobs this project preserves and creates shows why it's so important to keep defending the EDA and other effective programs."

“We commend the city of Rockland for their locally led efforts to provide the infrastructure regional businesses require for growth,” said Dennis Alvord, the EDA's deputy assistant secretary for regional affairs. “This project will ensure that the pier remains a key resource for the region, supporting the local commercial fishing sector.”

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Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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