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The New Bedford Port Authority’s Mission

The New Bedford Port Authority’s primary charge is to support The Port of New Bedford through:

  1. The implementation of best management practices over port resources
  2. The development of economic growth strategies

To this end, it is the goal of the New Bedford Port Authority to keep New Bedford on top as the #1 U.S. fishing port, expand existing businesses and capitalize on new opportunities that will maximize The Port’s potential as an economic engine to create jobs and strengthen the New Bedford economy.

About the New Bedford Port Authority

The NBPA (formerly Harbor Development Commission) was created by the Massachusetts General Court under Chapter 762 of the Acts of 1957. As such, the NBPA is not a Department of the City, but rather an autonomous body charged with managing the Port. Chaired by the Mayor, the Commission consists of seven members as appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. The term of the Commissioners is three years. The New Bedford enabling legislation gives the NBPA the authorities of the harbormaster and the responsibility to manage commercial and recreational vessel activities over all the waters within the New Bedford city limits. The crucial day-to-day operations and decision making is the responsibility of the NBPA staff headed by an Executive Director.

The NBPA manages all City-owned waterfront property, including Homer’s, Leonard’s, Steamship, Coal Pocket, and Fisherman’s Wharves, as well as a 204-slip recreational marina at Pope’s Island and 19 real estate assets. The NBPA also assigns moorings and enforces rules regarding use of piers, wharves, and adjacent parking areas under its jurisdiction, and issues permits for harbor events and for use of city-owned waterfront facilities.

Port Authority staff are generally responsible for the maintenance of facilities and equipment, safety, security and emergency response, and management of parking on NBPA piers and wharves.

It is the responsibility of the NBPA to enforce all laws, rules, and regulations governing the Harbor. NBPA staff are responsible for monitoring fishing vessels tied up to NBPA piers and wharves as well as parking on NBPA property.

The NBPA Security patrols Pope’s Island Marina and all wharves and piers during nighttime hours. Harbor Attendants greet all boats, inform and direct recreational boaters to get supplies, restaurants, and gift shops, etc. and provide an added level of security during the daytime hours of operation.




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