The project's draft mission statement —a work under development— reads:
Create community food security, agility and interconnectivity through collaborative innovation directed at serving the needs of Gloucester today, while preparing for the future.
The project will focus on the interdependence of land and sea in our island environment. The project aims to bring attention to the vital role every Gloucester resident plays in protecting and nurturing our local food supply, by virtue of personal choices and actions. Outdoor education programs will allow local and visiting school-aged youth to experience the worlds of fishers and farmers, inspiring a sense of community and connection to the people and place that feed them. Next generation training for fishers and farmers, currently underway, will be a program highlight. In addition to hands on training by land and by sea, aspiring fishers and farmers will explore local ecosystem science while sharing their respective knowledge and enhancing their capacity as citizen scientists.
According to the USDA, “As consumers across the nation express a growing interest in a closer connection to their food producers—whether through access to more localized markets and/or shorter supply chains— cities and regions have begun to regard the expansion of local food marketing activities as a critical component of their economic development strategies.”
Responding to Change Together (a working name that will change as the project moves into its next developmental phase) unites a range of local industry experts to consider how a unified land and sea mind-set can enhance local food security and awareness as well as community agility and interconnectivity. Land & sea harvesters, processors, retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, educators and scientists will create a rich and robust collaborative system designed to provide a renewed sense of pride, belonging, security and vision to America's oldest, settled fishing port.
Funded by Gloucester, MA (October 2022)