14 July 2022 — New Changes to the Maritime Heritage Grant Program Might Limit Access to Funding
A bureaucratic change in the way the National Maritime Heritage Grant program is administered this fiscal year will have a serious impact on organizations that had been planning on applying for these funds.
Instead of accepting applications for individual grants from museums, historic ships, lighthouses, or similar maritime nonprofits, the National Park Service will only accept applications from State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs). There are 59 State Historic Preservation Offices; one in each of the 50 states, the 5 territories, the District of Columbia, and the 3 Freely Associated States of Micronesia. A separate application will have to be submitted under the umbrellas of Education and of Preservation. The NPS expects to award five grants with a ceiling of $750,000 for Education and five for Preservation, or both—a maximum of ten, and perhaps fewer. The recipient SHPOs/THPOs, called prime grantees, are then responsible for awarding that funding to applicant programs in their states and administering those subgrants through completion. The SHPOs/THPOs may also fund eligible in-house projects. This was not permitted in the previous five rounds of grants.