The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Seattle MH Supporters Seek $150K for Shipyard

Maritime heritage supporters in Seattle have stepped up lobbying efforts in the city council to fund a shipyard for large historic vessels on Lake Union. Organizations such as Historic Seattle, the Museum of History & Industry, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation plan to meet with individual council members and ask for $150,000 to help match a $400,000 state grant that would fund the yard next to Gas Works Park in Seattle. Large vessels, such as the 1897 schooner Wawona, now berthed at South Lake Union Park, need a location for annual maintenance and restoration work. 4Culture, an independent arts and heritage funding and advocacy agency, and a sponsor of this blog, is leading the effort.

Mayor Greg Nickels did not include the $150,000 in his 2007-2008 budget submitted to the council last month, despite appeals from several historic preservation organizations. The oversight puzzles MH supporters, given that the mayor has asked for $400,000 to move the schooner Wawona from its current berth at South Lake Union Park. The $150,000 would help fund a place for her to go, as well as fund maritime heritage education programs at the park, which is positioned by the Seattle Parks Department as a maritime heritage facility. MH supporters plan to ask city council members to fix the mistake, which would send a consistent message that the city is behind long-term efforts to preserve Seattle's maritime heritage to educate future generations.

You can help this effort by writing or calling city council members and attending one or both public budget hearings this month. For more information and council contact information, go to the Seattle.gov website.

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