Connecticut is home to three deepwater ports (Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London) where the bulk of Connecticut’s commercial maritime industry operates, as well as small and mid-size coastal and river harbors that also make important contributions to the State’s economy. From the terminals in New Haven, New London and Bridgeport to commercially successful ferry operations in Bridgeport and New London to major shipyards such as Electric Boat and the U.S. Navy Sub Base in Groton to numerous marinas to fishing fleets and boat repair facilities, Connecticut’s commercial waterfront is an important contributor to jobs, economic activity and tax revenue. In total, 24 municipalities in Connecticut have Harbor Management Commissions, and three municipalities (Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London) have existing port authorities. Connecticut’s coastal economy is broad and diverse.
Prior to the onset of the Great Recession, Connecticut’s maritime industry contributed more than $5 billion to the state’s economy and employed more than 30,000 people, according to a study published in 2010 by the Connecticut Maritime Coalition. In 2007, according to the same study, average wages in the maritime industry were 15 percent higher than the state average. According to a recent analysis by DECD found that the industry has rebounded from the impact of the Great Recession, again employing slightly more than 30,000 people.
About the Connecticut Port Authority
The Connecticut Port Authority is a quasi-public agency created through legislation Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed in 2014 that is responsible for marketing and coordinating the development of the state’s ports and maritime economy. The creation of the Connecticut Port Authority represents a major commitment by the Governor and the Assembly to invest in the state’s port infrastructure to create jobs and attract private investment to the state.
The Responsibilities of the Connecticut Port Authority
Among other duties, the Connecticut Port Authority shall:
- Coordinate port development, focusing on private and public investments
- Pursue state and federal funds for dredging and other infrastructure improvements and maintain navigability of all ports and harbors
- Work with the Department of Economic and Community Development and state, local, and private entities to maximize the ports’ and harbors’ economic potential
- Support and enhance the overall development of maritime commerce and industries
- Coordinate the state’s maritime policy and serve as the governor’s principal maritime policy advisor
Connecticut Port Authority Board of Directors
The Connecticut Port Authority’s governing board is composed of 15 voting members, including state officials, community leaders, port authority professionals, and individuals with knowledge related to trade, marine transportation, and finance.
Primary responsibilities for the Board of Directors include:
- Develop and recommend a statewide maritime policy for the Governor and the Connecticut General Assembly Transportation Committee
- Advise the Governor and Transportation Committee concerning the state’s maritime policies and operations
- Support the development of the state’s maritime commerce and industries, including its ports and harbors
- Recommend investments and actions, including dredging, required in order to preserve and enhance maritime commerce and industries
- Conduct studies and present recommendations concerning maritime issues