WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Steny H. Hoyer (all D-Md.) today announced $5 million in federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to support pre-construction and design requirements for a new visitor center at Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary. The lawmakers fought to pass the Inflation Reduction Act – the single largest investment in climate and clean energy in American history – nearly one year ago.
The federal funds from NOAA will support a new visitors center featuring information on the sanctuary and related cultural and tribal heritage. The visitor center will also drive greater economic opportunity for the area as a focal point for recreation and tourism. NOAA intends to partner with the State of Maryland and Charles County, Maryland, co-managers of the sanctuary, on development of the new visitor center.
“Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary is a Maryland gem that deserves national renown, and NOAA is helping that become a reality. The $5 million Inflation Reduction Act investment for a new visitor center will help educate the next generation of Chesapeake Bay watershed advocates while generating revenue in Charles County. I’m pleased to see President Biden’s commitment to America’s marine sanctuary system in action right here in Maryland,” said Senator Cardin.
“As part of America’s National Marine Sanctuary System, Mallows Bay helps protect native Bay wildlife while also telling an important story of our state’s tribal heritage and unique maritime history through its iconic shipwrecks and the ‘Ghost Fleet.’ This federal funding – that we fought for as part of the Inflation Reduction Act – will make Mallows Bay an even more compelling destination for Marylanders and visitors alike, as we work to preserve this treasure for generations to come,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“Mallows Bay is vital to our state and its coastal communities,” Congressman Hoyer said. “I was pleased to see NOAA announce $5 million in funding through the Inflation Reduction Act for a visitor center at Mallows Bay. This project will serve as a focal point for telling the story of Maryland’s rich cultural and ecological history. I was proud to work with Senators Cardin and Van Hollen to secure this transformational funding, and I look forward to continuing to work with our Maryland Delegation and the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that families throughout our state can see and feel the impact of the Investing in America agenda.”
Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary is home to a diverse collection of more than 100 known historic shipwrecks that date back to the Civil War, and potentially to the American Revolutionary War. Included among these vessels are the sunken fragile remains of the largest “Ghost Fleet,” wooden steamships built for the U.S. Emergency Fleet Corporation during World War I.
These investments are part of a $3.3 billion investment from the Inflation Reduction Act to help Americans prepare, adapt and build resilience to weather and climate events; improve supercomputing capacity and research on weather, oceans and climate; strengthen NOAA’s hurricane hunter aircraft and fleet; and replace aging NOAA facilities.