National Maritime Heritage Grants Program


The National Maritime Heritage Grants program helps State and local governments and private nonprofit organizations carry out their maritime heritage activities by funding Maritime Heritage Preservation Projects and Maritime Heritage Education Projects designed to preserve historic maritime resources and increase public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants.
Program Accomplishments
The following projects, listed by State, have been completed with support from the National Maritime Heritage Grants Program: California: Repair and preservation of the Point Sur Lighthouse's 19th century lantern room and upper gallery was carried out by the Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers (CCLK); the Maritime Museum Association of San Diego completed a comprehensive structural rehabilitation of the 54-foot San Diego harbor pilot boat, PILOT (1914- 1996); restoration and presevation of the Historic Ship BALCLUTHA's quarterdeck was completed by National Maritime Museum Association. Florida: The Cortez Village Historical Society completed a video addressing the history of commercial fishing on Florida's West Coast. Iowa: The Mississippi River Museum completed a new exhibit interpreting the historic site of the Iowa Iron Works and the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works (1870 to 1972). Louisiana: A traveling exhibit of five distinct types of pirogues and scale models from South Louisiana was completed by the Center for Traditional Louisiana Boat Building. Michigan: The Inland Seas Education Association developed a dynamic web site providing educational materials about the maritime heritage of the Manitou Passage, 1830-1900. North Carolina: Stabilization and restoration of the 1874 Chicamacomico Life Saving Life Station was completed by the Chicamacomico Historical Association; Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum developed maritime heritage public education programming on North Carolina piracy. Ohio: Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University created an image database of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes vessels for the period 1850-1980 to be publicly accessible to researchers at the university and via the Internet. Pennsylvania: The Independence Seaport Museum completed protective measures to the Cruiser OLYMPIA'S skylights, hatches, and gun sponsors in order to halt rainwater incursion and potential damage to historic fabric. Virginia: The Mariner's Museum created a web-based catalog for the Eldridge Collection providing online information about the American steamship companies documented in this collection. Connecticut: Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. created a database of Connecticut Customs Districts Records 1789-1939 and made it accessible through the museum's library catalog and the world wide web. District of Columbia: The Naval Historical Foundation completed the inventory and repackaging of portions of their collection of maritime documents, photographs, and artifacts for transfer from non-climate controlled warehouses to the Navy Historical Center and the Navy Museum System. Georgia: The Woodruff Museum of Civil War Naval History completed the relocation of the CSS Jackson and CSS Chattahoochee from their current outdoor location into the new museum facility in order to place them in a climate-controlled location and prevent further decay. Kentucky: The Belle of Louisville Operating Board repaired the hull plating and cabin siding, and installed an electric dewatering and alarm system to preserve the Mayor Andrew Broaddus, the last remaining U.S. Coast Guard inland lifesaving station. Maine: The City of Portland completed preservation of the Portland Observatory (1807), the last remaining maritime signal-tower in the U.S. As part of a long-term preservation plan, Old York Historical Society completed an engineering study of Historic Hancock Warehouse, the last surviving 18th century warehouse in York, and completed exterior painting of the adjacent 19th Marshall Store. The Penobscot Marine Museum completed conservation, documentation, and reinterpretation of their watercraft collection of 36 small craft. New York: The Hudson Waterfront Museum: Maritime Education Program developed a lesson plan geared toward students in grades 6-8 and over 25 school group visits were conducted. Thirty-seven interpretive panels were installed in the 1500-seawall railing at Battery Park by the Conservancy for Historic Battery Park. The Niagara Company Planning Department produced documentation on the "Flight of Five" locks including a report, bibliography and current working photographs of Erie Canal Locks 67-71. Local Television Inc. (LTV) produced a 55-minute documentary video entitled "Storm Warriors: The Story of the U.S. Lifesaving Service" for distribution to maritime museums, educational publishers and public television stations. The hull and mechanical systems of the Steam Launch Ospry were restored by the Adirondack Museum. The South Street Seaport Museum prepared a preliminary script and images for a Web-based exhibit and curriculum. Texas: The Conservation Research Laboratory, Nautical Archaeology Program completed conservation of the non-ferrous, glass, ceramic, faunal, and selective iron and wood artifacts recovered from LaSalle's ship, the BELLE, which sank in 1686, in Matagorda Bay, Texas. Washington: The Clallum County Historical Society, in cooperation with the West End Shipwreck Project and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, researched, designed and produced three booklets featuring shipwreck sites and/or memorials for the education of local citizens and tourists. The Virginia V. Foundation continued restoration of the steam Virginia V.
National Maritime Heritage Act of 1994, Public Law 103-451, 108 Stat. 4769, 16 U.S.C. 5401.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
In order to be considered for a grant, eligible applicants must at a minimum: 1) demonstrate that the project has the potential for reaching a broad audience; 2) match the requested grant amount on a 1-to-1 basis with nonfederal contributions from nonfederal sources, which include cash or in-kind services fairly valued; 3) maintain and allow access to records which will allow for an effective accounting of project funds and any required audits, including the amount and disposition of the proceeds of the grant and the total cost of the project; 4) be a unit of State or local government or a private nonprofit organization. While State or local governments or private nonprofit organizations may apply for grants to support their maritime heritage education or preservation activities, Federal agencies may not apply directly for assistance. However, projects involving federally-owned or managed historic maritime resources are eligible for funding if conducted by a nonfederal unit of government or a nonprofit organization.
Beneficiary Eligibility
State and local governments and private nonprofit organizations receive the benefits of the program.
Applicants are requested to provide resumes or position descriptions of persons carrying out the project. and a current Financial Statement. If applicable, they may be asked to provide predevelopment documentation such as plans or photographs, or the research design and conservation plan for an archeological project.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
An environmental impact statement is required for this program, where applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
Project proposal forms for Maritime Heritage Education Projects and Preservation Projects are available from the National Maritime Initiative. Project proposals are forwarded to the National Maritime Initiative who screen all proposal packages for completeness and prepare them for review by the National Maritime Heritage Grants Advisory Committee.
Award Procedure
The National Maritime Heritage Grants Committee reviews proposals for maritime heritage education projects and maritime heritage preservation projects. The Committee makes funding recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior who will make final decisions regarding distribution of awards. The Secretary shall make grants to State Historic Preservation Offices to carry out approved maritime heritage preservation projects or to release the funds as subgrants to organizations within their States whose projects have been approved by the Secretary.
There shall be a single deadline for all applications. Contact the National Maritime Initiative or your State Historic Preservation Office for information.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Within 60 days after submission of recommendations by the National Maritime Heritage Grants Committee to the Secretary, the Secretary shall approve or disapprove each project recommended by the Committee.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The following criteria are used in evaluating and selecting proposals to receive funding: 1) the objectives of the project are consistent with the goals of the National Maritime Heritage Act: (a) the applicant has demonstrated the project's potential for reaching a broad audience; (b) the project addresses topics which reflect significant contributions to U.S. maritime heritage; (c) the project will enhance greater public awareness and appreciation for the role of maritime endeavors in U.S. history and culture; 2) the project objectives and desired results or products are clearly described; 3) the project design and production schedule will accomplish the stated objectives in a realistic and timely manner; 4) the budget is reasonable to accomplish the project tasks and activities; 5) project personnel qualifications are appropriate to accomplish the stated objectives.
How may assistance be used?
In general, the program does not fund projects which support training or professional development for the individual maritime heritage professional. This program is designed to support seven basic categories of maritime heritage education activities and seven basic categories of maritime heritage preservation activities. Education activities include: 1) activities which serve to enhance public access, use, and appreciation for maritime heritage collections; 2) activities focusing on maritime heritage trails and corridors; 3) maritime heritage field programs, 4) maritime history programs; 5) activities designed to encourage the preservation of traditional maritime skills; 6) minor construction projects which will improve public access, use and appreciation of educational and exhibit spaces of maritime heritage organizations; 7) reporting and publicity projects designed to increase public awareness and understanding of maritime preservation programs or projects. Preservation categories include: 1) activities associated with acquiring ownership of, or responsibility for, historic maritime properties for preservation purposes; 2) preservation planning; 3) documentation of historic maritime properties; 4) protection and stabilization of historic maritime properties; 5) preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of historic maritime properties; 6) maintenance of historic maritime properties; and 7) reconstruction or reproduction of well-documented historic maritime properties.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Progress Reports and Final Projects Reports are required in accordance with 43 CFR12 and the terms of the grant agreement.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Records retention and access requirements are carried out in accordance with OMB Circulars A-102 and A-110. Grantee/subgrantee must retain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and other records considered pertinent to the terms of the grant/subgrant.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula. The requested grant amount must be matched on a 1-to-1 basis with nonfederal contributions from nonfederal sources, which include cash or in-kind services fairly valued.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is available for up to 24 months. Payments are made upon request for costs incurred.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Not applicable.
Headquarters Office
Not applicable.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Grants) FY 02 $0; FY 03 est $0; and FY 04 est 0.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$2,500 to $50,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Examples of Funded Projects
Types of organizations funded in the 1999 cycle include museums, libraries, historical societies, university programs, local government offices, and maritime heritage foundations, associations, and friends groups. Examples of projects supported include: (1) preservation of large vessels and small craft, lighthouses and lifesaving stations, a maritime warehouse, store, and observatory as well as canal locks; (2) information management projects to make maritime manuscript and photographic collections electronically accessible; (3) documentation, conservation, and interpretation of the watercraft of rivers and inland lakes; (4) underwater archeology projects involving survey, artifact conservation and interpretation, and public outreach and education programs; and (5) maritime heritage tourism and maritime heritage curriculum development.


Federal Grants Resources