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The Boston Globe

Business

Port cities hope to prosper off ocean again

Once-booming New England port communities are now adapting, hoping to prosper again by helping harness ocean energy

For centuries, the ocean provided a linchpin for New England’s economy, from fishing grounds that brought the first Europeans, to whaling that made New Bedford the nation’s richest city, to merchant ships that built New England’s first great fortunes.

Now the region is reinventing its maritime industry again, turning to the sea not for fish or whales or trade, but energy. From the Bay of Fundy to Long Island Sound, new technologies are harnessing the power of ocean tides and winds, promising not only an inexhaustible source of energy, but also hundreds of jobs, billions in revenues, and new life for struggling fishing communities along New England’s 473-mile coastline.

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