The National Park Service has announced $2 million in maritime heritage grants to assist funding 12 preservation projects in nine states. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, the NPS is awarding grants for education programs and projects that will preserve sites and objects related to the nation’s maritime history.
“These grants are made possible by cross-agency, collaborative efforts dedicated to conserving our nation’s shared maritime treasures,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “Preservation and education programs allow us to celebrate our nation’s vast maritime history and teach maritime skills so future generations can create new experiences and stories for years to come.”
The partnership between the NPS and MARAD, two federal agencies that share a commitment to maritime heritage preservation and education, makes the National Maritime Heritage Program grants possible. The program does not use federal tax dollars and instead is funded by recycling vessels from the MARAD’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. The grant program supports a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects. Examples of the diversity of work funded include:
The Wisconsin Historical Society, Documentation and Conservation of Recovered Underwater Artifacts from Lake Michigan Archaeological Resources — This project will catalog and preserve the Klopp Collection. The collection contains 10,352 artifacts recovered prior to the 1987 Abandoned Shipwreck Act by Allan Klopp. The family transferred the artifacts to the state in 2021 after they spent decades in damaging storage conditions. The project takes place in partnership with the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
The Alaska Maritime Heritage Preservation Program: Education Program — A collaboration between the State Historic Preservation Office and the state libraries, archives, and museums, the project will fund both in-house and subgrant statewide projects that will advance Alaska's maritime heritage through public education. Education efforts such as developing and implementing waterborne-experience programs that include instruction and hands-on participation and activities, encourage preservation of traditional maritime skills and teach skills, techniques, and methodologies to future generations.
The National Park Service will administer these projects as direct grants to State Historic Preservation Offices that will distribute funds as in-house projects and subgrants to eligible applicants. Visit the NPS Maritime Heritage Program website to learn more about maritime grants and how the program works to foster awareness and appreciation of the many roles that waterways and their adjacent lands have played in America's history.