Recycling ships funds maritime heritage grants


In 1946, after the conclusion of World War II, the United States government established the National Defense Reserve Fleet to ensure a ready supply of ships that could be rapidly deployed, if necessary, for either military or non-military purposes. Since then, numerous ships have been temporarily commissioned from the reserve fleet for a variety of purposes around the world, from storing grain supplies to supporting military efforts in Vietnam. Over time, as the ships in the reserve fleet have aged and the pollutants and toxins inherent in the ships’ construction have become environmental problems, the government has moved to dismantle and recycle many of the ships in the reserve fleet.

In a unique partnership between the National Park Service and the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, funds that have resulted from selling recycled products from the reserve fleet are being used to fund grants to preserve the country’s maritime heritage. The National Park Service recently announced the award of $1.7 million through this program.

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National Park Service awards more than $1.7 million in Maritime Heritage Grants

National Park Service News Release

July 7, 2017

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