UMass Dartmouth will break ground on a new 76,000-square-foot facility for its School for Marine Science and Technology on Friday, October 23, at 10:30 a.m. at the former Naval Reserve Center on Rodney French Boulevard in New Bedford.
Combined with the existing SMAST facility next door, and built in collaboration with the Division of Marine Fisheries, the new $55 million building will create a comprehensive marine science campus in historic New Bedford, which is recognized as the nation's top fishing port and a potential base for offshore wind energy development.
UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), is the largest marine science program in the UMass system. The expansion will bring faculty, students, and staff of the School and the state Division of Marine fisheries together to engage in education, research and policy related to commercial fishing, coastal preservation, ocean observation, and climate change.
Coastal and marine-related activities are critical to the economy and quality of life for the Commonwealth. The combined economic impact of the coastal and marine economies of Massachusetts has been estimated to exceed $130 billion and directly employs more than 1.3 million people.