Re-Port of New Bedford January 2021

By Steven Froias

For the New Bedford Ocean Cluster

It’s expected that the month of January, beginning with New Year’s Day, will usher in a fair degree of change. When you add in the fact that a new administration has begun its task in Washington, D.C., the transformation from 2020 to 2021 is quite profound – and is felt all the way into the Port of New Bedford. 

That’s true on many levels – not least of which is the huge news that a change in leadership, if not administration, arrived hot on the heels of the New Year at the New Bedford Port Authority (NBPA). 

Edward Anthes-Washburn announced early in the month that he is leaving his post as director of the Port of New Bedford at NBPA and joining the private sector. This sea change is significant because Anthes-Washburn was one of those rare public officials who earned something unique during his tenure, and upon his departure: universal acclaim for his stewardship of this historic oceanport, and the respect of all who had the pleasure to work with him over the decade he has served with such distinction in this city. 

On his last day as Port Director, Edward left the following message on Facebook, “I’ve worked at the Port of New Bedford since 2010. In that time we accomplished a lot and I learned even more. Today was my last day at NBPA and I’ll miss my great team – some of the funniest and most dedicated public servants around! On Monday I’m incredibly excited to join Crowley Maritime to lead their business development efforts in the northeastern US.”

That team he leaves behind illustrates why he was and is highly regarded. The Port of New Bedford is perfectly poised to meet future opportunities not only because Edward Anthes-Washburn was at the helm during a period of remarkable achievement, but because he  has empowered a gifted crew to follow this true course. 

As for Ed’s course, it mirrors the trajectory of the Port of New Bedford itself. Crowley, founded in 1892, is a privately-held, U.S.-owned and operated logistics, government, marine and energy solutions company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Services are provided worldwide by four primary business units – Crowley Logistics, Crowley (Government) Solutions, Crowley Shipping and Crowley Fuels.

It’s a great professional move for Ed – and the fact that Crowley discovered his talents here says something about the role the Port of New Bedford is about to play moving forward. 

Now, with the new Biden administration calling all hands on deck to realize a renewable energy future, the infrastructure of the Port – which includes its personnel at the New Bedford Port Authority, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, as well immense physical assets like the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal – will be called upon as never before to realize its ambition. 

Alex Thillerup, leader of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster on behalf of the NBPA and for Xodus Group, is fond of telling people to be ready for the existential explosion of activity in the offshore wind energy sector – and now his prophecy is coming to life through national policy. 

January 2021 is ushering in change indeed at the Port of New Bedford – a mighty wind blowing and bearing down upon it that will once again call upon its capacity for renewal and change – a characteristic of this historic oceanport and city. 

These are the big stories that we shared during the month of January that are setting the stage for the year ahead:

A SAILOR’S FAREWELL: “I am grateful to Ed for his leadership of the Port these last six years, which was marked by major accomplishments,” City of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The Port is in the midst of a modernization initiative the likes of which we have not witnessed in over fifty years, with hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements.” FULL STORY HERE.

OFFSHORE WIND: Vineyard Wind ready to move forward – “We look forward to completing the permitting phase of the project and to finalizing the engineering, contracting and financing of the first utility scale offshore windfarm in the US.” FULL STORY HERE.

COMMERCIAL FISHING: The parent company of Seatrade International has landed a $602,000 state-backed loan to upgrade its seafood processing and distribution facility in New Bedford. The news release said the project could create 80 jobs over the next year. FULL STORY HERE.

POPES ISLAND NEWS: Fleet Marina, located on Popes Island in New Bedford, MA, has recently completed the first phase of its planned renovation. The property is a mixed commercial and recreational marina. FULL STORY HERE.

GOT BUTTER? The lobster fishing area to the south and west of Cape Cod…is now exempted from the proposed closure, which should be good news for local lobstermen. And foodies everywhere. FULL STORY HERE.

PORT ART: Proposals for work to be exhibited in this year’s SEAPORT ART WALK along the New Bedford waterfront are now being accepted. The theme TIDES & TIME is looking for work reflecting or commenting on our ever-changing climate, whether that be the ocean, environment, economy, politics, or social justice. Artists can apply at this link.

// If you’d like to receive more information about your marine organization, business or service becoming a part of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, please visit Featured photo above courtesy of Alex Butters, Port of New Bedford.