Virginia Receives $200,000 for Maritime Heritage Grants from National Park Service

Published May 23, 2023

Virginia Department of Historic Resources
For Immediate Release
May 23, 2023

Ivy Tan
Department of Historic Resources
Marketing & Communications Manager

—DHR will administer the grants through a subgrant program to support the preservation of maritime heritage collections associated with Virginia’s BIPOC communities—

RICHMOND – The Department of Historic Resources (DHR) is pleased to announce that the Commonwealth of Virginia has been awarded $200,000 in maritime heritage grant funds by the National Park Service (NPS). DHR will administer the funds through the Virginia Maritime Trade Heritage Preservation Subgrant Program with the goal of preserving objects and collections while educating the public about the state’s long history in maritime-based trade and the role of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals and communities in that trade.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to support the preservation of objects and collections which highlight this important and understudied aspect of Virginia’s maritime history,” said Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Virginia State Archaeologist. “For communities that often do not appear in documents and written histories, these materials can be the only evidence of the lives of the people associated with them.”

The Maritime Trade Heritage Preservation Subgrant Program will be made available to local governments, nonprofit organizations, and tribal entities to assist in the preservation of maritime heritage collections, properties, and objects associated with Virginia’s BIPOC communities. DHR plans to award two to 10 subgrants varying from $10,000 to $150,000 through the program. All subgrant recipients must meet a 1:1 match; information on what constitutes a qualifying match will be available in the application documents. The application process is set to kick off by early 2024.

Prospective applicants are asked to start thinking about the preservation needs of maritime heritage collections and objects in their care, specifically historic resources associated with BIPOC individuals in maritime-based trade. Additionally, DHR will coordinate outreach activities to communicate and inform the public about the projects that receive subgrants from this program. Through these outreach efforts, DHR hopes to foster a better understanding of the part played by BIPOC communities to support Virginia’s maritime-based industries and instill an appreciation for the state’s maritime legacy.

Virginia’s maritime heritage grant is derived from the National Maritime Heritage Program, a result of the partnership between the NPS and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD). The program, which supports a variety of maritime education and preservation projects across the country, is funded by recycling vessels from MARAD’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. The program does not use federal tax dollars. According to the NPS, the program has distributed a total of $2 million in maritime heritage grants this year to help fund preservation projects in nine states.


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