Senator Carper, Congressman Castle Announce $275,000 Grant for Preservation of “Floating Lighthouse”

Washington, DC (Oct. 19, 2005) – Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Congressman Mike Castle (R-Del.) today announced that the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation has been awarded a $275,000 grant from the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program. The grant money is slated to be used for the preservation and repair of the Overfalls Lightship, one of only seventeen remaining “floating lighthouses” which aided navigation in treacherous waters where lighthouses could not be built. The vessel is currently sitting on land in Lewes, DE, where repair efforts have been underway since 1999. The grant money will be used in part to place the ship into a dry-land cradle to make it more accessible for workers to begin the much-needed hull restoration process. According to Carper, “It is always good to see our federal government recognize the importance of Delaware’s coastal attractions. By restoring the Overfalls Lightship, we safeguard an important component of our nation’s maritime history for future generations. I am very pleased to know that this ship will get the care that it deserves.” “It is very important to preserve our history here in Delaware and the Overalls Lightship is a perfect example of this. The grant is appropriately named ‘Save America’s Treasures’ because that is truly what the Lightship is. Being one of the few remaining floating lighthouses in the country, it is imperative we keep focused on the up-keep of this important vessel and make sure the money is used in the most effective way,” Castle said. Grant recipients are selected by a partnership between the National Park Service and various federal cultural agencies. To be successful, applicant projects must be of national significance, demonstrate an urgent preservation need, make the case as to how they will address the threat and demonstrate the likely availability of non-federal matching grants.