GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 6, 2013

City 'summit' eyes waterfront growth

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — With debate and questions surrounding its I-4, C-2 property, the former Birdseye site, and other marine industrial issues, Gloucester city officials and more than 100 others will step back Thursday to take a fresh look at the waterfront’s so-called big picture.

A second Gloucester Marine Summit — coming 15 months after the initial gathering hosted in November 2011 — is set for Thursday beginning at 8 a.m. at Cruiseport Gloucester, with exhibits, demonstrations, talks and workshops on issues ranging from the effect of climate change on the oceans and ocean economy to specific ideas about fisheries and new waterfront innovations.

“The whole idea is that we use this to seed programs and ideas that we will work on for the next year,” Sarah Garcia, the city’s harbor planning director, said Tuesday.

“We can talk about the availability of grants, and perhaps how to plug some smaller companies here into major grants that can bring new ideas to our waterfront,” she said. “We can talk about whether we want or need any new city ordinances regarding development or even offshore development. What are the different things we can do to go forward?”

Speakers will include Amy Cannon of The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, who will address the topic of “Green Chemistry & Biomimicry: The Next Generation of Opportunity,” and lunch speaker J. Ru Morrison, executive director of the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems, based in Rye, N.H.

Both of their talks will touch on climate change, and what Garcia notes is not evolutionary, but “disruptive change” in the oceans especially posing questions for communities such as Gloucester, whose economy remains significantly tied to the sea.

While the city partnered with the Metropolitan Regional Planning Council, and received federal funding through the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for its 2011 summit, the city is essentially going it alone this time, with some support from Endicott College, which launched its Commercial Street campus in 2012, and the Ocean Alliance, which owns and is continuing to redevelop the historic former Tarr & Wonson Paint Factory on Rocky Neck.

As planning for the event began, Garcia emphasized that the summit would need at least 100 participants to be a “success.” But as of Tuesday, more than 130 had signed on — including what Garcia described as a “wonderful mix” from the business community, government, academia and the public.

Garcia said the summit will remain open to new participants on Thursday, but only to join the sessions; the lunch and lunch speaker’s presentation are sold out.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk will open the summit with a welcoming address at 9 a.m.

The schedule:

8 a.m. — Registration, Exhibits open & coffee.

9:00 — “Welcome to the New Port Economy,” Mayor Carolyn Kirk.

9:15 — “Green Chemistry & Biomimicry: the next generation of opportunity,” Amy Cannon, of the The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry.

10:00 — “Innovation in Action – Snapshots from the Working Port;” with Intershell, Mortillaro Lobster, Cruiseport Gloucester, Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, UMass Large Pelagics Center, Ocean Alliance, Maritime Gloucester.

11:15 — Break to Exhibits, with Monte Rome, Principal; Vince Mortillaro, Principal; Sheree DeLorenzo, Principal; Chris Duffey, Manager; Steve Goodwin, Dean UMass College of Natural Sciences; Iain Kerr, CEO; Tom Balf, Executive Director.

11:45 — Lunch / Lunch Speaker: Dr. J. Ru Morrison, executive director, Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS).

1:00 — MARITIME GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

1:00 — Diversified Fisheries – Current adaptations and innovation; Sustainable Innovation at the Ocean’s Edge.

1:30 — Panel: Ann Molloy, president, Neptune’s Harvest; Niaz Dorry, Coordinating Director, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance; Steve Aldrich, Managing Director, Rabican Companies; Dynamic Areas of Ocean Sciences Aquaculture in the Gulf of Maine

Dr. Richard Langan, Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center; Modeling fluctuating currents to minimize bycatch, NOAA;

Dr. John Hoey, director, Northeast Cooperative Research Program; Dr. Jon Hare, Director, NOAA Fisheries Laboratory, Narragansett

Technologies of the New Maritime Economy; Dr. Iain Kerr, CEO, Ocean Alliance; Dr. Andrew Bennet, Associate Professor of Engineering, Olin College Dr. David Barrett, Associate Professor of Engineering, Olin College, which is hostoiing “Sailbot” races here in June).

2:30 — Mapping the New Maritime Economy in the Northeast Region; Tom Balf, Director, Maritime Gloucester; Gregg Cademartori, Planning Director, City of Gloucester.

3:00 — Catalysts for Growth, Group discussion, Facilitated by Sarah Garcia, Director, Harbor Planning.

4:00 — Reception/cash bar.