Press Release

May 9, 2016
Smooth Sailing: Cardin, Mikulski, Sarbanes Announce Federal Funds to Boost Tourism, Preserve Maritime History on Chesapeake Bay


BALTIMORE — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbra A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) were joined by Congressman John Sarbanes (Md.-03) in announcing $278,545 in funding through The National Parks Service’s (NPS) Maritime Heritage Grant Program to organizations in three Maryland counties. The Historic St. Mary’s City Commission in St. Mary’s County, Project Liberty Ship in Baltimore City and Philips Wharf Environmental Center in Talbot County will use the funds to support maritime tourism and preserve integral parts of Maryland maritime history for the general public.


“Maryland’s history and economy are both inexorably linked to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. These federal dollars are an investment in preserving our shared history and moving our economy forward,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Getting people on the water and connecting them with the history of The Dove, The John Brown and Chesapeake Bay oystermen stimulates our economy and reminds us of how important healthy waterways are to our past, present and collective futures. For every tax dollar we invest in the National Parks Service, we see $10 return to the U.S. economy. With a return on investment like that, I look forward to seeing more efforts by the NPS to preserve Maryland’s rich history and environmental wealth.”


“The Chesapeake Bay is an integral part of who we are as Marylanders – it’s our heritage, our economy and our culture,” Senator Mikulski said. “These funds in the federal checkbook will help preserve and protect Maryland’s rich maritime history, supporting jobs in our tourism economy. Through hands-on learning on the importance of the Bay for Maryland communities, we will inspire future generations to be stronger stewards of it.”


“Centuries of strong economic and recreational ties to the Chesapeake Bay have provided our state with a rich maritime history,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Thanks to the National Park Service – which has been a steadfast partner in safeguarding the Chesapeake Bay – this new grant funding will help ensure the preservation of our maritime history, and importantly, it will help inspire future generations of Marylanders to protect the Bay.”


In the 2015 grant cycle, 34 grants in 19 states, totaling $2,580,197.37, were awarded under the first 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.

Maryland Dove Pier Repair – St. Mary’s County

  • Recipient: Historic St Mary’s City Commission
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: This project will consist of repair of interpretive area for the city’s replica 17th century ship, the Maryland Dove.

Preservation of the Superstructure of Liberty Ship John W. Brown – Baltimore City

  • Recipient: Project Liberty Ship
  • Amount: $178,670
  • Project: Project Liberty Ship needs to refinish the steel superstructure of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown in order to stabilize and preserve the ship from ongoing rust. This preservation project will prevent further deterioration of the ship, keep the ship in safe operating condition, and allow the safe meeting of our training and educational/outreach obligations to partners, visitors and members..

Chesapeake Oysters: From Skipjack to Shucker-A Maritime Heritage Experience – Talbot County

  • Recipient: Philips Wharf Environmental Center
  • Amount: $49,875
  • Project: Combined with the oyster house, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for diverse audiences to experience all facets of a “working waterfront”, focused on a Chesapeake maritime industry dating from the pre-Civil War era. PWEC’s goals for this grant are to expand its audience, use its working waterfront resources, and create a program focusing on cultural heritage and practice of oystering on the Chesapeake.