National Maritime Heritage Grants


To provide matching grants for preservation or education projects that foster a greater awareness and appreciation of the role of maritime endeavors in America?s history and culture. The grants will help State, Tribal, and local governments and private nonprofit organizations preserve and interpret their maritime heritage. It is designed to reach a broad audience and enhance 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
National Park Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 No information available. 27 non-federal state and local agencies received funding to preserve their maritime heritage.
Fiscal Year 2017 In FY17, the program received 142 applications and made 27 awards.
Fiscal Year 2018 In FY18, the program received 93 applications and anticipates making 30-35 awards.
Fiscal Year 2019 No funds are available at this time.
Fiscal Year 2020 It is unclear if funds will be available.
National Maritime Heritage Act of 1994, P. L. 103-541, Sec. (4)(c).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
State, local, tribal governments and private nonprofit institutions/organizations are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible applicants.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Any State or local government or private non-profit institution/organization will benefit directly from grant funds. It is intended that the general public will ultimately benefit from the information conveyed by the funded projects.
Proposals must furnish evidence of the applicant's qualifications to carry out the proposed project. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program. Proposals from non profit organizations must also provide proof of non-profit status.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Preapplication coordination with State Historic Preservation Offices is required.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Funding announcements for this program, along with registration procedures, application packages and instructions, points of contact, and procedures for submitting applications will be available on Applicants may visit the National Maritime Heritage Program website at for more information.
Award Procedure
Proposals received in response to announcements on are reviewed on the basis of a competitive, merit-based review process, and are rated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the announcement. Awards may be made to the highest rated proposals based on the amount of funding available each year. Award amounts are based on recommendations made by the National Maritime Heritage Grant Review Panel to the Secretary of the Interior, who makes final award decisions. The Review Panel is composed of representatives from the NPS, Maritime Administration, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Naval History and Heritage Command Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Smithsonian Institution, and the National Archives and Records Administration. Each application is scored individually based on standardized criteria. Awards are made as direct grants to State or tribal Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO or THPO), who issue sub-grants to applicants.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. Varies depending on the type and complexity of the project. Further information will be available for each specific project at the time the funding opportunity announcement is posted on and may be obtained by contacting the Program Manager listed as the point of contact.
None. Final award decisions are not subject to appeal; however, the National Park Service may provide applicants with information on why their proposals were not selected for award.
Grants are not renewable, but the grant period may be extended upon approval of a request to the program, showing that unforeseen circumstances prevented the project from being completed on time.
How are proposals selected?
Specific evaluation criteria will be included in the funding announcements posted on
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used for education or preservation projects that promote the understanding of significant aspect of American maritime heritage. Projects that involve historic resources as defined in the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, must comply with treatments defined in the "Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties" (36 CFR 78), “Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects”, and “Standards for Archeology and Historic Preservation” (48 FR 44716). The Grantee must grant a preservation easement or preservation agreement for each grant-assisted property. In general, the Grants Program does not fund projects which will train the individual maritime heritage professional to do his or her job better or assist in career recognition or promotion. This includes activities such as developing training or continuing education courses for the maritime heritage education or preservation professional, personal research, or research resulting in highly specialized reports or publications with narrow audience appeal and little potential for public use or applications. In general, the Grants Program does not fund projects which will train the individual maritime heritage professional to do his or her job better or assist in career recognition or promotion. This includes activities such as developing training or continuing education courses for the maritime heritage education or preservation professional, personal research, or research resulting in highly specialized reports or publications with narrow audience appeal and little potential for public use or applications. Grants Program funds cannot be paid for any work or activity that does not conform to the terms of the NPS Grant Agreement which incorporates all applicable grant requirements, conditions, and Federal laws and regulations.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Program Performance Report
2 CFR, Part 200, Subpart F
Recipients must maintain accounting and progress reports throughout the life of the project, and up to 90 days beyond the end of the Period of Performance, until the grant is closed.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. Matching Requirements: According to NMHA section 4(d)(2), grants must be fully matched on a dollar-to-dollar.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Project funding is generally for two years. All awarded funds must be expended within 90 days of the grant end date specified in the grant agreement, unless an extension has been applied for and granted. Assistance is awarded/released to applicants as subgrants issued by SHPOs, who are awarded direct grants by the NPS. Funding is released to recipients through ASAP.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Kelly Spradley-Kurowski, PhD, Manager, National Maritime Heritage Program, 1849 C St NW, Mail Stop 7508, Washington, DC, 20240; 202-354-2266;
Headquarters Office
Kelly Spradley-Kurowski, PhD
1849 C St NW, Mail Stop 7508
Washington, DC 20240 US
Phone: 202-354-2266
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 18$2,535,826.00; FY 19 est $0.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$2,293,929.00; FY 16$2,058,164.00; - This program has not received funding for FY19 and FY20 is unclear.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $15,000 to $200,000 Average: $66,000.00
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR, Part 200, 43 CFR, OMB Circulars, standard forms, and program information.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 No information available. Program reactivated in FY 2014. Projects applicants have proposed projects that 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 archaeological resources.
Fiscal Year 2017 The Maritime Museum of San Diego received funds to support preservation of the steam ferry Berkeley ; Mystic Seaport Museum received funding to create an exhibit that will deliver to a broad public audience important historic content about the changes in the maritime cargo trades from the mid-19th century to the present; the Watermen's Museum will develop and present hands on educational programs that will explore the maritime cultural history of the American Revolution focusing on the 1781 Yorktown shipwrecks.
Fiscal Year 2018 In 2018, the New Bedford Whaling Museum (NBWM) will publish a scholarly work to showcase the 1,275’ Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World. A maritime artwork of national historical importance, the Panorama is a first-hand account of a whaling voyage originating from the port of New Bedford, MA in the mid-19th century. Titled A Spectacle in Motion, this publication will complement a major exhibition of the Panorama scheduled to launch next year. The project’s objective is to provide a central resource for scholars and the public to learn about the history of the Panorama, its role in 19th century popular culture, the maritime content and themes embedded in the work itself, and the two-year conservation process that it recently underwent. Maritime Heritage Grant funding will provide six months of direct support for the writing, design, and production of A Spectacle in Motion. Project activities include research, writing, graphic design, copy-editing, indexing, marketing, and production of the publication. The deliverable of the project will be a well-produced and highly visual book that stands as a major multidisciplinary contribution to the fields of visual culture, museum studies, material culture, and maritime history.
Fiscal Year 2019 Projects have not yet been selected.
Fiscal Year 2020 TBD


Federal Grants Resources