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National Maritime Heritage Grant Recipients


In the 2016 grant cycle, 27 grants in 13 states and the Distric of Columbia, totaling $1,752,073 were awarded
under the third round of the re-established Maritime Heritage Grants Program. Successful applicants include state and tribal governments as well as private non-profit organizations. The projects funded include maritime education and information access projects; exhibit and heritage trail development; preservation of ships, lighthouses, and other maritime properties; and survey and conservation of underwater archeological resources. The projects that received funding are listed by state below.

The list of grant recipients from 1998 and grant recipients from 2014, and 2015 is also available.


California | Connecticut | District of Columbia | Florida | Iowa | Illinois | Maine
Maryland | Massachusetts | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Virginia



Creating an Interpretive Master Plan for the tugboat Angels Gate

  • Recipient: Friends of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum
  • Amount: $40,000
  • Project: The Friends of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum seek to create an interpretive master plan for the Museum’s tugboat ANGELS GATE (ex-ST-695, ex L.A.H.D. #10). On most days during Museum operating hours, ANGELS GATE is secured at the dock and inaccessible to the public. An interpretive master plan will create the capacity for the Museum to develop an enhanced visitor experience. Through physical access and interpretation of the tugboat, visitors will learn not only the history of ANGELS GATE but the vessel’s role in the growth of the Port of Los Angeles and how that growth contributes to a broader, national maritime story.


Preservation of the Steam Ferry Berkeley

  • Recipient: Maritime Museum Association of San Diego
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Project: This project will support preservation of the steam ferry Berkeley, constructed in 1898 and, in its time, the largest steam ferry in service in the United States.


Educational Programs Interpreting Naval and Maritime History Through STEM

  • Recipient: Aircraft Carrier Hornet Foundation
  • Amount: $15,000
  • Project: This project will tell the stories of selected areas of maritime technology via the USS Hornet and her decorated history. Educational programming for both youth and adults will use a crossover approach to STEM and history to increase awareness and understanding of the connections between these areas. The $15,000 amount requested will help develop curriculum and online resource materials, provide enhanced presentation tools and equipment, and conduct outreach and marketing for these programs.


Maritime Discoveries Along the California Coast

  • Recipient: University of Southern California
  • Amount: $49,968
  • Project: USC will digitize for free online public access via the USC Digital Library and Digital Public Library of America 380 16mm film reels and 3,000 photographic negatives and prints tracing Captain Allan Hancock’s voyages of discovery from the 1930s to 1960s aboard the Velero 3 and Velero 4. Capt. Hancock’s maritime explorations contributed significantly to our understanding of U.S. coastal waters and the flora and fauna of the Eastern Pacific, and his films and photographs document important marine habitats like Catalina Island, the Channel Islands National Park, Baja California, and the Galapagos Islands.


The Living Brotherhood of the Tomol: Chumash Paddlers' Active Legacy

  • Recipient: Channel Islands Maritime Museum
  • Amount: $35,562
  • Project: A select handful of prestigious Tomol Captains and rowers with admirable strength and endurance make annual voyages from the Channel Islands Harbor to the local Channel Islands; nearly a twenty mile trek. It is not simply a single crossing to the island – it is an affirmation of Chumash tradition and culture. The Channel Islands Maritime Museum intends to present this experience to its visitors in the best way possible, short of having them balancing in a vessel off a dock in our Harbor. With the help of the Chumash Mariners, an interactive “display Tomol” will be created specifically for visitors to experience elements of an annual crossing.



From Clippers to Containers

  • Recipient: Mystic Seaport Museum
  • Amount: $46,659
  • Project: Mystic Seaport Museum will create a long-term exhibit that will deliver to a broad public audience important historic content about the changes in the maritime cargo trades from the mid-19th century to the present.


Maritime History Sails on Long Island Sound

  • Recipient: Sound Waters
  • Amount: $43,500
  • Project: SoundWaters Maritime History Sails on Long Island Sound are designed to accomplish the following: 1) to engage the general public, which is largely unaware of coastal maritime history, with an understanding of the significance of 19th and early 20th century oyster fisheries; 2) to recognize the historical design and use of the sharpie schooner in our region; 3) to highlight the role Long Island Sound played in the settlement of the coast and development of industry; and 4) to create a deeper understanding of place and local maritime culture.


Creating a Blue Heritage Trail for Southeast Connecticut

  • Recipient: University of Connecticut
  • Amount: $22,780
  • Project: The University of Connecticut will create a “Blue Heritage Trail” by integrating information resources related to Southeast Connecticut’s maritime history, cultures, economy, ecology and scientific endeavors. The project will create at least a dozen interpretative panels as markers/stops of the trail for locations in the City of Groton, City of New London, and Town of Stonington.


District of Columbia

Naval Documents of the American Revolution Digitization Project

  • Recipient: Naval Historical Foundation
  • Amount: $49,700
  • Project: Since the 1950s, the Navy has maintained an ongoing effort to chronologically publish important naval documents of the American Revolution – the founding papers of the United States Navy. Volume I was published with an introduction written by President Kennedy. The most recent twelfth hard-bound volume with an introduction from President Obama takes the series up through May 1778. The series has provided primary source materials to numerous scholarly books and articles. Given the scarcity of complete hard-bound sets and the proven capabilities of the internet as a research repository, the Naval Historical Foundation desires to make these and future volumes accessible online.



The Pensacola Maritime Mural Gallery

  • Recipient: University of West Florida Historical Trust
  • Amount: $26,630
  • Project: The Pensacola Maritime Mural Gallery will consist of two installation spaces for large-scale murals in downtown Pensacola. These spaces will display a rotating collection of murals that highlight the importance of Pensacola’s historic waterfront and maritime enterprises to the city, region, nation, and world. As part of a comprehensive interpretative program for the city’s rich maritime heritage, the “Pensacola Maritime Mural Gallery” will complement the Pensacola Maritime Heritage Trail, the Historic Pensacola Village, and the FPAN’s Destination Archaeology Resource Center.


The Florida Shellfish Trail Website and Signage

  • Recipient: University of Florida
  • Amount: $34,332
  • Project: This project will highlight the rich maritime history and culture of the shellfish harvesting industry in Florida by developing a website and educational signage for the Florida Shellfish Trail.


Maritime Archaeology Educational Field Program II

  • Recipient: Diving With a Purpose
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: Two field programs will be conducted in 2017. Each field program session is one week of classroom instruction, educational presentations, and three days of diving, documenting the wreck sites. In addition, continuous and multi-faceted public education and outreach efforts will be performed during the year. Forums include public lectures, seminars, school presentations as well as social media. Youth participating in the program will be required to participate in outreach activities at their school.



Lead Based Paint Abatement of William M. Black

  • Recipient: Dubuque County Historical Society
  • Amount: $66,999
  • Project: The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will employ a complete lead-based paint abatement process to permanently eliminate all deteriorated lead-based paint and its hazards on the steam dredge William M. Black, a National Historic Landmark.



U-505 Submarine Preservation Accessibility Expansion Project

  • Recipient: Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
  • Amount: $82,277
  • Project: The U-505 Submarine Preservation and Accessibility Expansion Project will expand preservation efforts and create enhanced access to key areas of the WWII U-505 German Submarine that are historically and technically significant. The project objectives include: 1) Increase public access to previously restricted elements of the historic U-505, 2) Increase access for ongoing preservation and research, and 3) Preserve the national historic landmark in perpetuity for the American people by promoting awareness and appreciation of our nation’s maritime heritage associated with the submarine.



Educational Exhibit about the Fresnel Lens and the Lighthouse Lantern

  • Recipient: Maine Maritime Museum
  • Amount: $42,141
  • Project: The Maine Maritime Museum will create a full-scale replication of the lantern room of the Cape Elizabeth Light so that visitors can appreciate the lens within the context of its original setting. "Into the Lantern" will give visitors an historical perspective of the role of lighthouses and the evolution of lantern lighting, as well as a current-day view of what takes place in our busy harbors and an appreciation of the value of maritime industries to our economy and culture. This exhibit will make it possible for people—who might otherwise be physically unable to negotiate the steps of a real lighthouse tower or who have no access to a lighthouse—to have the simulated experience of being at the top of a lighthouse.


The Apprenticeshop: Maritime Skills Program

  • Recipient: Atlantic Challenge Foundation
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: This program targets high school students through hands-on curriculum that complements the standards and lessons necessary for graduation. Traditional boat building, sailing and seamanship are the experiences we use to challenge individuals to explore their personal potential. Our STEM-centered courses include such offerings as The Science of Boatbuilding, The Physics of Sailing, and Maritime History: Traditions and Storytelling.



US Coast Guard Taney Hull Preservation Project

  • Recipient: Living Classrooms
  • Amount: $152,389
  • Project: The objective of the project is to place the historic US Coast Guard Cutter TANEY in drydock to clean, stabilize and preserve the underwater hull body. This is a continuation of a long-term effort to preserve the ship which includes a successful dry dock period in 2003 which was used as a model project for historic ships internationally via the Historic Naval Ship’s Association’s public knowledge base. At the time of this application, the riveted steel hull of USCGC TANEY has been afloat continuously for over 13 years by which time underwater protective coatings have begun to reach the limit of their effectiveness. By meeting the objective of this project, the hull will be effectivelypreserved, thus preventing more extensive and costly repairs in the future.



USS Constitution in Context: Enhancing Visitor Experience Online and Onsite

  • Recipient: USS Constitution Museum
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: The goal of “USS Constitution in Context: Enhancing Visitor Experience Online and Onsite” is to present USS Constitution in the context of the Charlestown Navy Yard to inspire visitors, residents, and educators to view the Navy Yard and all its historic landmarks as an integrated learning opportunity and a must-see destination. The USS Constitution Museum seeks to develop seamless digital and physical resources to enhance visitor understanding and engagement connected to USS Constitution and the historic Charlestown Navy Yard. The project will produce a redesigned and reinterpreted web site that will serve as an inviting orientation and engaging interpretive gateway to Constitution and the national landmark Charlestown Navy Yard campus.


New York

1930 Tug W. O. Decker: Preservation of Deck and Certificate of Inspection

  • Recipient: South Street Seaport Museum
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Project: The goal of this project is to rebuild the deck and all associated sub-structures. Rebuilding the deck structure along with upgrading the mechanical systems on the tug will allow us to renew Decker’s USCG Small Passenger Vessel certificate and obtain a Dockside Attraction Vessel certificate; these capabilities will enable the tug to reach a greater audience while providing her with a revenue stream to support future maintenance costs. Once restored, she will again take students and visitors on educational excursions around New York Harbor, help in the training of students (including those that will enter the maritime workforce and historic preservation), and serve as a functioning tugboat for the Museum’s fleet of historic vessels.


Digitizing and Disseminating Whaling Collection Online

  • Recipient: Whaling Museum Society
  • Amount: $49,557
  • Project: The Whaling Museum proposes to digitize, preserve, and create publicly available online access to 2500 items from its permanent collection which document American whaling history, including digitally scanned and photographed scrimshaw, tools, and prints. The project will dramatically increase access to these significant and historical collections by producing publicly accessible digital archives on the Museum’s website, and will enhance public awareness and appreciation for the key role whaling played in our country’s maritime heritage. The website will also be enhanced with object-based curricula and teaching materials for schools which highlight using the online collection in classrooms.


Telling the Stories of Sailors' Snug Harbor

  • Recipient: Stephen B. Luce Library Research Foundation
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: The archives of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, housed at SUNY Maritime’s Stephen B. Luce Library, contain incredible and largely untapped riches that tell overlapping stories of maritime history, New York City history, nineteenth-century literature and art, and medical and social history. This project will digitize, preserve, and create online access to at least 4000 items from the collection for researchers, genealogists, and educators. Library faculty with expertise in metadata creation and access will create a sustainable, interactive digital collections platform to deliver content to the public.



Enhancing Awareness and Educational Opportunities for Historic Lake Erie Lighthouses

  • Recipient: Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory
  • Amount: $18,540
  • Project: This project will enhance public awareness of the South Bass and Green Island lighthouses and their importance in maritime history by developing five educational signage stations. The South Bass Island lighthouse grounds are open to the public, but lack information on the rich history of the property, architecture, and light keeper history. Green Island is currently a wildlife refuge and is now closed to the public. Fortunately, Green Island can be easily viewed from the South Bass Island lighthouse property, making it the ideal location for telling the story and highlighting the connection between the two islands and lighthouses.



Cruiser Olympia Hull Repairs and Assessment Surveys

  • Recipient:Independence Seaport Museum
  • Amount: $107,689
  • Project: This project will continue critical repairs to the portside hull of Olympia along wind and waterline (area of most extreme corrosion). Using a surface piercing cofferdam, approximately 112 linear feet will be cleaned and scaled to bare metal using Sponge-Jet blasting media, coated with Enecon ceramic epoxy paste and painted with marine-quality epoxy paint. Additionally, we will conduct galvanic testing to determine the hull’s electrical potential at her berth and undertake two post-application hull condition assessments.


Rhode Island

Southeast Lighthouse Tower Cast Iron Restoration, Block Island

  • Recipient: South East Lighthouse Foundation
  • Amount: $105,000
  • Project: During this phase of restoration work to historic Southeast Lighthouse, the watch level gallery cast iron deck plates, soffits, bi-leaf door, railings and beams will be restored, repaired and recast as necessary. The watch room cast iron drum and brick nogging will also be restored and repaired. Work will also be undertaken to restore, repair and replace as necessary the lantern level cast iron plates, railings, registers and ladder. The internal cast iron tower staircase will be restored and repainted. Masonry will be re-pointed as necessary on the lighthouse exterior, primarily on the north and west façades where mortar loss is significant.



Expanding Analysis Capabilities for USS Monitor Conservation and Interpretation

  • Recipient: The Mariners' Museum
  • Amount: $83,350
  • Project: The primary objective of this project is to acquire a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer, which will be used to identify organic-based compounds of USS Monitor artifacts via non-destructive analysis. The project also calls for hiring a degreed chemist, who will be tasked with supporting the conservation staff by performing all chemical analyses and materials characterization in the laboratory.


Yorktown Shipwrecks Education Program

  • Recipient: The Watermens Museum
  • Amount: $30,000
  • Project: The Yorktown Shipwrecks Project will develop and present hands on educational programs that will explore the maritime cultural history of the American Revolution focusing on the 1781 Yorktown shipwrecks. The objectives are 1.To develop and present non–invasive, hands on STEAM focused maritime history program focusing on the 1781 maritime campaign, the French attempts to raise the sunken ships, and the archeological record of the site 2. To develop and present STEAM focused outreach program and traveling exhibit that will allow students to learn about maritime heritage through participatory exploration of the Betsy archeological story, 3. To present the outreach program at regional schools, partner sites, community forums and regional special events.


Battleship Wisconsin Engineering Project: Life in the Engine Room

  • Recipient: Nauticus Foundation
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: With the use of multimedia, tour guides will simulate the technology used to power the battleship’s steam engines. A life-size actor in a fire suit will simulate lighting a boiler in Boiler Room 1, where visitors will be instructed on safety, bringing the fire up to temperature and grading the smoke by utilizing a periscope. As guests move through the ship’s most dynamic operating system, the path of steam generated from heating water in the Boiler Room will be conveyed with the use of running lights. Finally in Engine Room 1 guests will power up a turbine engine through direct projection and animated cutaway technology. Guests will depart with engineering knowledge as it pertains to the steam engine and respect for those that served below the Wisconsin’s waterline.