Rockport, MA, Protects White Wharf

Rockport, Massachusetts: The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced the transfer of White Wharf to the Town of Rockport for permanent protection. Last fall, TPL purchased the property in order to hold it off the market until the town could vote on its proposed acquisition. On March 24, Town Meeting members voted unanimously to purchase the property for $600,000 and protect it permanently. This purchase price was offset by $15,000 of private funds raised by TPL and Seafencibles, Inc., a local nonprofit organization.

“With the purchase of White Wharf, Rockport has taken an important step in preserving its maritime heritage and history,” said TPL project manager Craig MacDonnell. “The wharf has been a place of many significant historic events, including a battle with the British ship Nymph during the war of 1812. Thanks to the foresight and commitment of Rockport’s voters, residents and visitors will continue using the wharf and learning about its place in the town’s history.”

“The Board of Selectman supported the purchase of White Wharf and are pleased that residents voted to preserve this historic and recreationally significant part of Rockport,” said Nick Barletta, chairman of the Rockport Board of Selectmen. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Trust for Public Land, Seafencibles, and Essex County Greenbelt Association in helping Rockport preserve the Wharf.”

“Thanks to the support of Town Meeting voters, Rockporters have defended the wharf against inappropriate development,” explains John Bruce, president of Seafencibles, Inc. “With the town’s purchase, the Wharf is preserved for future generations and the public gains a place to sail, picnic, and enjoy the ocean view.”

According to Alan Hovey of the White Wharf Task Force, “The town owes a debt to everyone involved in helping us purchase this vital property in the center of Rockport, and especially to the Trust for Public Land.”

White Wharf lies across the Old Harbor from Lumber Wharf and Middle Wharf, which are already owned by the Town of Rockport. The property includes a 220 ft. granite wharf, a marina with 30 slips, and a small undeveloped open lot.

The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide, including nearly 75,000 acres in New England. For more information, call TPL’s Boston office at (617) 367-6200 or visit