News Release

National Park Service announces historic investment for the preservation of the fortifications of Old San Juan

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Date: August 3, 2023
Contact: Yanira Martínez, 787-729-6777

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—San Juan National Historic Site superintendent Myrna I. Palfrey today announced the National Park Service (NPS) is investing close to $70 million dollars for the preservation of the historic fortifications of the park with support from various fund sources including the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), legislation that provides funding to improve infrastructure and expand recreation opportunities in national parks and other public lands. For fiscal years 2023 and 2024, the San Juan National Historic Site has embarked on a series of projects to ensure that historic fortifications are ready to meet challenges related to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. These funds will be used to enhance operations; complete conservation work on museum and archival collections, visitor services, protection and education; and the maintenance and preservation of the fortifications, buildings and landscapes that are part of the historic site.

In fiscal year 2023, the NPS will have invested over $11 million dollars in the fortification system. Almost $1 million dollars have been invested into the preservation and removal of vegetation of the San Antonio Bastion, near the historic cemetery Maria Magdalena de Pazzis. Another million dollars were invested in youth agreements employing young people for several grounds, trails and landscaping projects within the historic site. Also, almost $300,000 dollars have been invested in restoring historic cannons and cannonballs that will be placed back on exhibit at Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal.

“We have taken a strategic approach as to how, where and when to complete projects that will benefit our efforts to preserve this World Heritage Site. Our team is aggressively strategizing in seeking funds, as well as being creative and judicious in how we use the funds that are generated locally through the entrance fees, while maximizing improvements to the historic walls through funds received from the GAOA” said Palfrey. “This year alone, we are expecting to collect almost $5 million through entrance fees. Approximately 55% of these funds will be used in addressing preservation and maintenance of the historic structures and the site, while remaining fee revenue will be used in museum collection preservation, educational programming and visitor protection.”

Friday, August 4 marks the third anniversary of GAOA. August 4 is also a Fee-Free Day in honor of the GAOA anniversary, and the park welcomes all to visit the park and see the great work that has been accomplished.

Last updated: August 8, 2023

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501 Norzagaray Street
San Juan, PR 00901


787 729-6777 x223
San Juan NHS Headquarters Superintendent's Office

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