Since it was established as a commercial fishing port by the state of Rhode Island in the 1940’s, the Port of Galilee in Narragansett has grown to become one of the largest working commercial fishing ports on the East Coast, providing fish and lobster to both national and international markets. It includes 38 docks and piers and is home to over 240 commercial fishing vessels.
The Port supports hundreds of small to medium-size businesses that attract hundreds of employees and thousands of tourists each year. Not only does fishing support critically important industries in the Rhode Island economy, but it also enhances the state’s culture and quality of life.
After more than 60 years of salt water, storms, and high traffic, the Port’s infrastructure began to show its age. A deteriorating bulkhead and structurally deficient state-owned piers and docks, were not only hazardous, but hampering the region’s development, growth, and advancement. In 2013, EDA invested $2.9 million in the Port of Galilee to repair and upgrade the infrastructure to help it maintain and expand its operations.
EDA’s investment also helped spur local businesses to reinvest in the port. “This investment into the piers and docks here in the Port of Galilee has a direct positive impact on the fishing community and port stakeholders,” said Ryan Clark, Vice President of local seafood processor and supplier Town Dock. “Witnessing this investment helped to give us the confidence to continue to reinvest in our own port businesses. This year our company is engaged in several capital investment projects to expand our freezing and seafood processing capacity, and upgrade our owned fishing vessels. We cannot just pick up and move our business – the port is an essential hub for Town Dock and our boats. Reinvestment into the port’s infrastructure supports fishing operations, and helps to keep jobs here in Rhode Island. We’ve been here for 35 years, and our long term strategy involves being an active member of the fishing community in Galilee.”