Friday, April 29, 2016

Federal Grants Awarded to Maritime Heritage Projects

By Mark Edward Nero

On April 22, the National Park Service, in partnership with the Maritime Administration, awarded $2.58 million in Maritime Heritage Program grants for projects in 19 states, including six on the West Coast, that preserve sites and objects related to US maritime history.

Recipients include the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, which was awarded $45,000; and Sound Experience, a Port Townsend, Wash. non-profit that runs environmental and sail education programs. It received a $200,000 grant.

Also among the recipients were the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Maritime Museum Association, both of California, which received $35,000 and $49,100, respectively, for education programs.

“As a nation with vast coastlines and interior waterways, our maritime heritage is an integral part of the story of our economic growth and the defense of our nation,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “These grants will enable our state historic preservation partners to connect local communities to their maritime heritage from sea to shining sea.”

National Maritime Heritage Program Grant awards are made possible through a partnership between the National Park Service and Maritime Administration, federal agencies that share a commitment to maritime heritage preservation and education. Funding is provided by the Maritime Administration through the recycling of vessels from the MARAD’s National Defense Reserve Fleet.

The grant program supports a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects, without expending tax dollars, while ensuring that the vessels are dismantled in an environmentally sound manner.

“These iconic maritime treasures must be preserved for future generations -- ships, lighthouses, and the vast array of strategic maritime vessels that served and protected our nation at critical times in our history,” Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen said. “The Maritime Administration is committed to preserving these assets and artifacts from our past, so that future generations can fully appreciate and be inspired by our nation’s maritime legacy.”

Maritime Heritage Program grants are available to state, tribal, and local governments, as well as private non-profit organizations for education and preservation projects. Education projects are funded in amounts between $15,000-$50,000; preservation projects are funded in amounts between $50,000-$200,000. Education grants can be used for programs such as school curriculum, interpretive programs and web pages, and preservation grant projects can include the rehabilitation or restoration of ships and other maritime resources.

A full list of this year’s grant recipients can be seen at