WARWICK - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) expressed approval of today's announcement by the Economic Development Administration selecting Point Judith as one of six New England ports to receive an economic review in the coming weeks.
The agency says it plans to visit Rhode Island for two and a half days in late April to engage all of the local constituencies in developing solutions for the problems resulting from the economic downturn. EDA would then publish its findings and offer technical assistance to implement them.
"I am pleased that Point Judith has been chosen for this assessment and encouraged by EDA taking a step to find solutions for the economic challenges facing our fishermen," said Congressman Langevin. Concerned Members of Congress have urged the Department of Commerce for the past few years to recognize that New England's fishing communities, which play such an integral role in our economy, are struggling. I look forward to making sure fishermen have a meaningful seat at the table in these discussions."
According to the U.S. Commerce Department:
Economic development assessment teams will deploy next month to conduct a two-day analysis of six Northeast fishing communities: Portland, Maine; Seabrook, N.H.; New Bedford, Mass.; Gloucester, Mass.; Point Judith, R.I.; and Montauk, N.Y. The sites were chosen through an evaluation of economic and fisheries industry data, including groundfish landing revenues and the percentage of groundfish landed at a port relative to the state totals.
Teams will work with local government, community, and business leaders, regional planning organizations, and economic development organizations to explore issues ranging from infrastructure challenges to development and financing needs, attempting to look at the total economic picture for each community. After the assessment, EDA will present to each community a report that captures economic development best practices and customized strategies for the community's long-term strategic planning. The teams are modeled after the Economic Development Assessment and Evaluation Teams deployed to Gulf Coast communities following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.