Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 30, 2023

Dan Keefe | (518) 486-1868 |

OPRHP Announces New Grant Program to Support Maritime Heritage Education and Preservation Projects in New York State

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has announced almost $400,000 in federal grant awards from the National Maritime Heritage Program for maritime heritage education and preservation projects in New York State.

The National Park Service (NPS) awarded $2 million in maritime heritage grants to fund 12 preservation projects in nine states, including two awards totaling $392,500 to the New York State OPRHP. The grants are to fund education programs and projects that will preserve sites and objects related to the nation's maritime history and the grants are made possible through a partnership between NPS and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). The National Park Service provides direct grants to State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) that will then distribute funds for in-house projects and as subgrants to eligible applicants.

The New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) received the highest combined funding ($392,500) for this round of awards: $150,000 for preservation projects and $242,500 for education projects. The New York SHPO has identified in-house projects for both award categories, including historic preservation work at Barcelona Lighthouse on Lake Erie and traveling educational exhibitions and programs exploring Black and Indigenous maritime histories on Long Island based at Jones Beach State Park and Connetquot River State Park Preserve. In addition, the SHPO will administer the new New York State National Maritime Heritage Subgrant Program. This program will launch in the fall of 2023 and will include two tracks: NYS Maritime Heritage Education Subgrants and NYS Maritime Heritage Preservation Subgrants.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said: "Maritime pursuits are central to New York's historic identity and collectively they helped shape the state's physical, economic, and cultural development. When you think about the state's maritime resources, there's an overabundance of stories to tell and features to preserve- from historic watercraft design and construction, commercial whaling and fishing, and inland and canal navigation to naval history, light stations and navigational aids, and commerce and trade. We're ready to activate this new grant program so that organizations throughout the state can get support for their projects and help showcase and tell New York's remarkably rich maritime history."   

More about the New York State National Maritime Heritage Subgrant Program Please note that full details will be available online and the following is only a brief summary about the program: Local governments, tribal governments, as well as 501(c)(3) and NYS qualified nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply to the NYS Maritime Heritage Education Subgrant (MH/Education) and NYS Maritime Heritage Preservation Subgrant (MH/Preservation). The minimum grant award for MH/Education will be $5,000. OPRHP anticipates $170,000 in available funds for MH/Education projects in this round of funding. The minimum grant award for MH/Preservation will be $15,000. OPRHP anticipates $90,000 for MH/Preservation projects in this round of funding. Both subgrants have a 1:1 matching requirement, meaning each federal dollar must be matched by one non-federal dollar. Applicants may apply for one or both categories. Pre-application is required for all projects. The pre-application period is open November 15-December 15, 2023. Full applications will be due February 28, 2024. Award notifications are anticipated to be in April 2024. Projects must be completed by September 30, 2025.

More about the National Maritime Heritage Program Grants: The partnership between the NPS and MARAD, two federal agencies which both share a commitment to maritime heritage preservation and education, makes the National Maritime Heritage Program grants possible. The program does not use federal tax dollars and instead is funded by recycling vessels from the MARAD's National Defense Reverse Fleet. The grant program supports a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects. A list of the recent awards may be found online.  

Visit the NPS Maritime Heritage Program website to learn more about maritime grants and how the program works to foster awareness and appreciation of the many roles that waterways and their adjacent lands have played in America's history.

More about the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 424 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube

More about OPRHP: OPRHP oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 79.5 million visits in 2022. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit, download the free NY State Parks Explorer app or call 518.474.0456. Join us in celebrating our Centennial throughout 2024, and connect with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and the OPRHP Blog