Blue Economy: The sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health
—The World Bank

Imagine a North Shore where, in ten years…

  • Millions of dollars in public and private investment and access to capital sparks new Blue Economy enterprises and initiatives for entrepreneurs and accelerators.
  • Revolutionized sustainable seafood supply chain, with diverse and stable business strategies reinvigorates our ports, processing capacity, and prosperity.
  • Northeast Center for Coastal Resilience provides leadership in climate resilience and serves as a hub for ideation, research, and application to regional businesses and communities.
  • Coordinated North Shore Blue Economy Network brings together hundreds of diverse business, government, nonprofit, investor, education, and research partners.
  • Workforce training and education programs retain the talent we grow in our colleges and universities and attract new Blue Economy businesses.
  • Regional branding & marketing campaign spreads our vision of a resilient, sustainable and equitable Blue Economy, enabling anyone to see themselves as a part of this amazing region to live, work and play in.
  • Sustainable tourism & recreation strategies solidify our unique regional and community identities, promote regional successes, and attract targeted Blue Economy investment.

Data-driven and Community-Driven Process

The North Shore Blue Economy initiative, led by UMass Amherst Gloucester Marine Station — in partnership with regional business, community, nonprofit, philanthropic, and regional thought leaders — has gathered and assessed the region’s economic baseline and met with hundreds of stakeholders to produce a comprehensive Phase I report. The report offers leaders a foundation to better understand the region’s competitive position in the sectors that make up the region’s Blue Economy.

The analysis provides a platform upon which to build resilient, sustainable and equitable economic development and community engagement strategies.

Strengths and Competitive Advantage to Build Upon

  • Strong history, culture, and existing Blue Economy strengths around fisheries, boatbuilding, coastal tourism, and recreation
  • Easy access to local and international transportation (highway, rail, air, ferry)
  • Access to premier education and research institutions and talent
  • Front door to Boston’s finance, life sciences, and tech innovation economy
  • Ongoing state investment in developing marine science and technology R&D, and applications
  • Dozens of supporting NGO and public institutions producing research, managing marine and coastal resources, educating our children and public, and convening dialogues
  • Opportunity to seize state and federal investments in climate resilience to safeguard our coastal ports, properties, and people

The Blue Economy is globally and nationally recognized as an important industry focus by the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and the U.S. Congressional Ocean Caucus.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is investing in Blue Economy initiatives through the Seaport Economic Council, the MassTech Collaborative and other state programs.

On the North Shore of Massachusetts, the time is now to collectively mobilize as a region, invest, and build upon our Blue Economy.

Contact Katherine Kahl at or 978-865-3472 with questions or to share ideas.



Fact Sheet: Phase I Assessment

Download Fact Sheet

Livestream video recording

Watch a video of Dr. Katherine Kahl and Dr. Michael Goodman reporting the North Shore Blue Economy Phase I Findings & Vision Forward with special guest, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito on October 22, 2021.

Advisory Committee and Funders

Thank you to the North shore Blue Economy Phase I Advisory Committee and funders. We look forward to growing this network of partners in Phase II of our work.

Environmental Development and Industrial Corporation Essex County Community Foundation North Shore InnoVentures Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center City of Gloucester Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Commonwealth of Massachusetts UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment North Shore Technology Council UMass Amherst Environmental Conservation