National Park Service awards $2.58 million in matching grants for maritime heritage education, preservation projects

The National Park Service, in partnership with the U.S. Maritime Administration, announced April 22 the award of $2.58 million in Maritime Heritage Program grants for projects in 19 states that preserve sites and objects related to our nation’s maritime history.

“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 Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These grants will enable our state historic preservation partners to connect local communities to their maritime heritage from sea to shining sea.”

“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,” said Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen. “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.”

National Maritime Heritage Program grant awards are made possible through a partnership between the two federal agencies that share a commitment to maritime heritage preservation and education. In accordance with the National Maritime Heritage Act of 1994, funding is provided by the Maritime Administration through the recycling of vessels from the 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.

The 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.

Examples of projects that will be supported by this year’s Maritime Heritage Program grants include: an educational program providing students studying state history at California Title 1 schools an overnight stay aboard historic tall ship Spirit of Dana Point; a plan to rehabilitate four offshore lighthouses to enhance public education and tourism related to Michigan’s unique maritime history; and the refinishing of the steel superstructure of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown in Maryland to stabilize and preserve the ship from hull and superstructure corrosion.

Projects receiving funding in the Great Lakes states are:


  • $52,335 to the Mason County Historical Society for the cleaning, preservation and public display of Fresnel lighthouse lenses
  • $123,000 Michigan State Historic Preservation Office for Michigan Offshore Lights Historic Structure Report and Public Education Project


  • $68,000 to the Minnesota Historical Society for Cultural Landscape Report for Split Rock Light Station

New York

  • $50,000 to the National Maritime Historical Society for indexing, digitizing and online expansion of Sea History magazine
  • $34,000 to Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey for mapping New York City’s “Sailortown: A Networked Digital Maritime History Consortium”
  • $200,000 to Greater Lockport Development Association for Phase II of the restoration of the Erie Canal “Flight of Five” miter gates
  • $165,000 to the town of North Hempstead for the Stepping Stones Lighthouse: First Steps to Rehabilitation


  • $100,000 to the Ohio Historical Society for interior restoration of the historic steam towboat P. Snyder Jr


  • $50,000 to the Independence Seaport Museum for submarine Becuna multimedia app development
  • $100,088 to the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild for restoration of boat deck and hull of the 1902 tug Jupiter

For more information and a complete list of grant recipients click here.

Maritime Editorial