WASHINGTON DC — Congressman William R. Keating has announced that UMass Dartmouth has been awarded $600,000 to develop Southcoast Blue Economy.

In a call to WBSM's Chris McCarthy Show on Thursday, Keating revealed that the total in grants to the region is $1,200,000.

Congressman Keating said that this is the only grant of its kind awarded anywhere in the East Coast.

In regards to UMass Dartmouth, Keating said “This grant will allow the SouthCoast to maximize the potential of its burgeoning Blue Economy and will spur growth in the region by strategic investment in the marine science sector. I commend UMass Dartmouth and the South Coast Development Partnership’s leadership for taking the necessary steps to bring their regional vision to fruition and am glad we could secure federal dollars to move it forward.”

In a press release, Umass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson said “This investment by the Department of Commerce and EDA will allow us to bring together business, civic, and educational leaders to design and build a new blue economy driven by innovation and collaboration. Our region’s economy has been driven by its proximity to the ocean for centuries. Now, with the nation’s top fishing port, an emerging offshore wind industry, and a growing marine technology sector, the potential for economic growth along Interstate 195 is great. I want to thank congressmen Bill Keating and Joe Kennedy and the delegation for their advocacy and encouragement in moving this project forward and assure them that UMass Dartmouth is prepared to lead this effort.”