Experts Say "Blue Economy" In North Shore Could Bring In Billions

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GLOUCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Cities and towns in the North Shore stand to make potentially billions of dollars from utilizing sustainable ocean resources, according to experts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Gloucester Marine Station.

Representatives from the station held a public meeting Friday morning to discuss their findings from the first phase of a study on implementing what they call a "blue economy ecosystem" in the region.

A blue economy consists of utilizing sustainable ocean resources and combining the industries of sustainable fisheries, off-shore wind, marine science and technology, and coastal resilience.

Katherine Kahl spoke at the meeting Friday and said she believed the north shore region is right in the "sweet spot" of all of these factors and could thrive under a blue economy.

"I think that's where the magic happens," Kahl said. "There are billions of dollars available to us at the intersection of these strategies."

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The report found the region in the north shore could thrive under this model, but it would first require government investment to improve infrastructure and train more people to work in the industries.

Gloucester State Sen. Bruce Tarr said the findings of the report suggest there is a good reason for investment in the region.

"It confirms that fact that there is potential in these areas," Tarr said. "It gives us a) the targets to be able to try to hit but b) also the rationale for trying to hit them."

WBZ's Kendall Buhl (@WBZKendall) reports.

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