Department of the Interior - National Park Service (NPS)
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs for the preservation and interpretation of maritime heritage. Applicants must consult with the appropriate officer in developing an application. This program supports projects with the potential to impact a broad audience and foster public appreciation and awareness of the country’s maritime heritage.
The Grants Program funds maritime heritage Education Projects and Preservation Projects designed to reach a broad audience and enhance public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States. Historic maritime resources include: Historic Maritime Properties, Maritime Heritage Collections, Traditional Maritime Skills, and Maritime History Topics and are defined below.
Approved Project Categories:
Based on the provisions of the Act, seven (7) general categories of grant-supported activities have been developed each for Education Projects and four (4) for Preservation Projects. Each category describes a basic set of activities associated with particular types of historic maritime resources that may be supported by the Grants Program. These project categories serve as the basic criteria for identifying the types of projects which are eligible for funding considerations and for which proposals may be submitted. Applicants may choose only one category, and projects should conform to these basic criteria.
Note: Documentation of historic maritime resources, up to and including nominations for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or National Historic Landmark (NHL) program, is considered a preservation activity. Projects designed to document a historic maritime resource must meet the minimum Preservation project funding threshold.
Education: Education Projects should focus on providing information about the maritime heritage of the United States. Activities address curation, instruction, and interpretation of maritime heritage collections, traditional maritime skills, historic maritime properties, and maritime history topics. Education Project categories include:
(1) Maritime Heritage Collections Activities focus on exhibit services, curatorial services, information management services, or any other activities which serve to enhance public access, use, and appreciation for Maritime Heritage Collections. Collections may include items such as maritime art, manuscripts, photographs or any other media which is pertinent to the understanding of the maritime heritage of the United States. (NOTE: Acquisition or purchase of collection items is not supported by the Grants Program.)
(2)Maritime Heritage Area Programs Projects should focus on introducing the public to, and promoting awareness of, groups of historic maritime properties which are linked together through common historic, geographical, and cultural themes. Activities focus especially on planning, developing, and interpreting maritime heritage trails, corridors, and areas. (NOTE: Preservation treatments of historic maritime properties are not included under this project category.)
(3) Maritime Field Programs Informal, hands-on participation rather than formal training is used as the means to introduce the non-professional maritime enthusiast to various aspects of maritime history, technology, and culture. Activities may include, but are not limited to, waterborne-experience programs in historic vessels and field schools designed to introduce the novice to maritime archaeological resources.
(4) Maritime History Programs Includes activities necessary to establish and carry out any sort of program or activity which will facilitate an exchange of ideas and information and enhance participants' understanding and appreciation of various maritime history topics.
(5) Preservation of Maritime Skills Activities address programs involving serious formalized instruction or apprenticeships that teach, in order to preserve, the traditional skills, techniques, and methodologies of maritime occupations, crafts, or art forms such as boatbuilding, sail training, woodcarving, etc.
(6) Maritime Resource Replicas Covers activities associated with the reconstruction or reproduction of historic maritime resources to be used for educational purposes upon completion. Educational activities utilizing replicas should only be considered if the resource to be produced no longer exists or would be damaged or consumed through direct use.
(7) Facilities Improvements Allows for minor physical improvements which will enhance public access, use and appreciation of existing educational facilities and exhibit spaces of maritime museums, historical societies, or other maritime heritage organizations. (NOTE: This category is for non-historic buildings. If your facility is located in a historic building, please choose a category from one of the Preservation Project Categories below and include the predevelopment requirements specified under the Grants Program Requirements and Conditions section of this manual.)
Preservation: Preservation Projects encompass all facets of preservation planning and treatment for historic maritime properties (which include archeological sites). Preservation Project categories are keyed to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Preservation of Historic Properties, and include:
(1) Preservation Activities include measures designed to sustain the historic form and original fabric of a historic maritime property. Focus is on the regular maintenance and repair of the property rather than extensive replacement or new construction of materials and features. Projects may also include preliminary treatments necessary to protect and stabilize a property against immediate peril or decay. Preservation may also involve, but are not limited to, the following activities:
-Acquisition Includes activities associated with acquiring ownership of, or responsibility for, historic maritime properties for the purposes of preservation. Such activities may include completing required application packages, organizing and funding the relocation of a historic vessel, or acquiring fee title to a historic maritime property.
-Planning Includes those activities associated with identification, inventory, and evaluation of maritime resources, as well as those activities necessary to establish maritime preservation management plans, programs and policies which address guidelines and procedures for immediate and long-term treatment, use, and maintenance of historic maritime properties.
-Documentation Activities involve researching and recording all available information about a historic maritime property's history, significance, design, construction, or present condition, including the survey and recording of underwater sites and other maritime archeological sites. This includes nominations to the NRHP and NHL.
(2) Rehabilitation Activities include measures designed to return a historic maritime property to a useful state through repair or alteration while still preserving those portions or features of the property which convey its historical, cultural, technological, or architectural value.
Maritime Heritage Grants Manual
(3) Restoration Activities include measures designed to depict a historic maritime property as it appeared at a particular period of time by removing features from other periods of its history and reconstructing missing features from the restoration period.
(4) Reconstruction Activities include measures designed to depict a historic maritime property by means of new construction. Reconstructions must be used for educational purposes upon completion and may only be considered for funding if the resource no longer exists and a reconstruction is vital to the interpretation of the vanished resource type. Reconstructions will only be eligible for grant assistance when the maritime property to be reconstructed is well-documented.
GrantWatch ID#: 158365
Expected Number of Awards: 30
Education projects can request $15,000 - $50,000 and preservation projects can request $50,000 - $200,000.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Organizations not yet registered or familiar with grants.gov must first go to the following website and follow the instructions to register:
State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) directory:
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) directory:
Kelly Spradley-Kurowski, Manager, National Maritime Heritage Grants
202 354 2266 / 202-354-2258
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