NEW YORK, NY -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and the South Street Seaport Museum announced $10.4 million in federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant from FEMA’s Public Assistance Program has been awarded as part of federal efforts to assist in repairing damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“After Hurricane Sandy, we fought to secure the necessary emergency funding to help New York recover,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “Lower Manhattan was badly hit by the storm and the downtown community continues to struggle to rebuild. Allocating $10.4 million from FEMA to the South Street Maritime Museum – which is the Congressionally-designated National Maritime Museum – is a positive first step in supporting such an important site to the history and culture of New York City and the nation, and I am glad to see the progress being made in securing the long-term health and prosperity of the museum.”
“We’ve been working for more than two years to secure funding for Sandy recovery. This grant is a strong step in the right direction for the Seaport Museum,” said Captain Jonathan Boulware, the Museum’s Executive Director. “Congressman Nadler’s support of our efforts has been meaningful and we’re encouraged by this news as we undertake larger efforts to improve and expand Museum programming.”
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Seaport Museum with floodwaters. Although the fleet of ships sustained little damage, the buildings were inundated with up to 7 feet of salty water. Elevators, escalators, electrical equipment, and heating and cooling systems were all destroyed. Since that time the Seaport Museum has made significant progress toward recovery. Notable achievements include revitalized education programming (with tripled attendance over last year), increased membership (more than doubled), and the reactivation of the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard as a sailing school vessel. In addition, the museum has begun a $10.6 million City-funded restoration of the 1885 ship Wavertree, to be completed next year. “While there is a great deal yet to do, with this support from FEMA we can continue to build toward a bright future for the South Street Seaport Museum,” added Boulware.
ABOUT SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM
South Street Seaport Museum, the congressionally designated National Maritime Museum, is a non-profit cultural institution preserving and promoting the historic district of South Street Seaport in New York City. Founded on May 22, 1967, the South Street Seaport Museum (SSSM) is dedicated to telling the vital story of the foundation of New York and its link to its great natural harbor. The Museum preserves and interprets the history of New York City as a place where goods, labor, and cultural diffusion are exchanged through work, commerce, and the interaction of diverse communities. The Seaport Museum is located in a 12 square-block historic district on the East River in Lower Manhattan, the site of the original port of New York City. The Museum’s campus is comprised of key historic locations such as Schermerhorn Row, working trade centers on Water Street, and on the “Street of Ships” at Pier 16. These exhibitions and educational facilities are located in the South Street Seaport in New York City’s largest concentration of restored early-nineteenth-century commercial buildings. The Museum houses exhibition galleries, working nineteenth-century print shops, a maritime library, a maritime craft center, and a fleet of vessels on “The Street of Ships” in the East River.