Category Archives: News

MONITOR Center Lab Closes – Message from The Mariners’ Museum

Monitor Center lab is closed due to lack of federal funding  

The Mariners’ Museum has made the difficult decision to temporarily close the 5,000-square foot lab that houses the USS Monitor‘s gun turret and other large artifacts following the Dec. 31, 2013 expiration of an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Program.

Simply put, The Mariners’ Museum cannot continue to shoulder the conservation costs for these artifacts, which belong to the federal government. In 2013, the conservation cost was approximately $500,000. NOAA was only able to provide 10 percent of funding, and no funding was designated in 2012, the 150th anniversary of the Monitor‘s historic clash with the Confederate ironclad Virginia in Hampton Roads.

The decision to close the “wet lab” does not impact the rest of the Museum operation. The Monitor exhibition Ironclad Revolution is still open, as is the rest of the exhibition space at The Mariners’ Museum. Also, though no progress in the artifacts’ treatment will be made during this period, the artifacts remain in a stable environment.

This is an emotional move for all of us, who feel deeply invested in the effort to tell the important story of the USS Monitor through its artifacts. Most affected is our team of Monitor conservators, some of whom have dedicated years to this project, and who consider themselves the guardians of the Monitor.

NOAA is waiting on Congress’ approval of a budget to determine what funding to make available this coming year. NOAA and The Mariners’ Museum are working together to ensure that funding is in place to continue this important conservation work. The lab will re-open once funding is secured.

You can help us by letting legislators and NOAA know you believe the government should designate funding for the Monitor conservation project at The Mariners’ Museum. Here are three ways you can do this:

  • Sign our petition
  • Message NOAA and The Mariners’ to let us know of your support
  • Forward this e-mail to your friends

Thank you for your support of our continued desire to tell the USS Monitor story, and to preserve these artifacts for many generations to come.



Elliot Gruber
President & CEO
The Mariners’ Museum

CHARLES W. MORGAN Voyage – Call for Proposals

Mystic Seaport Director Steve White provided the following details:

I want to let CAMM members know about an upcoming opportunity to travel onboard the Charles W. Morgan during her historic 38th Voyage next summer. This will be the first time in 80 years this National Historic Landmark vessel will leave Mystic, Connecticut. The second oldest American ship afloat, the Morgan will voyage to seven New England ports including New Bedford and Boston, and spend several days on or near Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

We are seeking proposals for onboard participants from a wide range of backgrounds and skills – including scientists, artists, teachers, historians, playwrights, museum professionals, anthropologists, maritime archaeologists, whaling descendants, musicians, and writers. Each 38th Voyager will spend one night and the following day onboard the vessel, with a small group of other 38th Voyagers, the captain, crew, and a few additional guests.

This is a public-history project, so we seek proposed projects that will represent many different perspectives, reach different audiences, and find innovative ways to use the Morgan as a platform for recording, analyzing, interpreting, and sharing various aspects of the 38th Voyage. We encourage proposals that explore the wider local, national, and global stories to which she so strongly connects (see the Call For Proposals for the core project themes we’ve identified).

Please see the Call For Proposals for details – we’ll accept proposals from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31.

Email with any questions.

Best regards,


Maritime Heritage Grants Funded

Great news from Tim Runyan:
I received a call from National Park Service (NPS) this morning. The memorandum of agreement between MARAD and NPS enabling the transfer of funds for a public grants program according to the National Maritime Heritage Act was signed by MARAD. NPS has probably signed by now.
Our hard work on the Hill has paid off.
About $7M is available for the grants program– from the scrapping of ships in the National Defense Reserve Fleet by the Maritime Administration. NPS can claim 15% overhead per year. The grants will be offered over a four year period. The first request for proposals is expected by early 2014. Both agencies will participate in the distribution of the grants.
My thanks to all CAMM members and museums for staying the course these many years, contacting members of Congress when asked, and your commitment to maritime heritage.
National Maritime Alliance

New National Museum on the Great Lakes to host 2014 CAMM meeting April 27 – 30

NMGL lo res

Courtesy National Museum of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes Historical Society and Inland Seas Museum is moving to a new facility in Toledo, Ohio. CAMM will be there to help celebrate their grand opening in April. More details will be posted on CAMM’s annual meeting page as they become available.

Meanwhile please email session proposals to program chair Marifrances Trivelli,  <trivelli at>. We welcome topics on a wide range of issues of current importance to maritime museums, including but not limited to ship & small craft preservation, special collections, lighthouses/lifesaving stations, underwater archaeology, traveling exhibits, and social media. The proposal should include a brief synopsis of your presentation as well as contact information including email.

Teaching With Small Boats Conference, Mystic, Seaport, October 15-18

Don’t miss it!

If you use boats to teach, it’s a tremendous opportunity to meet and learn from your peers.

This will also be the only TWSBA Conference of the East Coast for several years. So, if you’re nearby, this is the one to attend.

You need to Register Now!

If you’re coming, you need to register. Just fill out the form on our website and send it in, or FAX it, to Mystic Seaport.

If you’re still “on the fence” and need reasons to come, here are two:

Reason #1

The Conference dinner, on Tuesday the 15th, will honor the achievements of Dick and Colleen Wagner from the Center for Wooden Boats. Dick and Colleen created the Center For Wooden Boats. It’s safe to say that most of us have been strongly influenced and inspired by their work. Their trips to the East Coast have been getting rarer. So, don’t miss this chance to celebrate their achievements and say, “Thank You.”

Reason #2

There are going to be great presentations, panel discussions, hands on experiences and practical workshops. Just take a look at this list!

TWSBA 2013 Planned Presentations, Workshops and Experiences-

Presentations and Panel Discussions:


Building To Teach – One Year Out

“Marinizing” the Common Core Standards-

Whaleboats for the Charles W. Morgan:

Serving AdultsWorking with In-School & Out-of School Youth; A Panel Discussion

The Role of the Social Workers and Counselors in TWSBA Organizations

Related Teaching Organizations; A Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion on Fundraising Strategies that Work;Panel Discussion on Incorporating Indigenous Content

Model Boats as Teaching Tools

Training Professional Boat Builders


Taking Care of Basics

Planning Your New Program

Connecting To The Common Core Standards

Hands on Experiences:

Building and Using SeaPerch ROVs

How to Teach Steam Bending

Integrating Tools & Technology into Programs

Foil Boats for Teaching Math, Science and Engineering

Building and Using Indigenous Craft/ First Americans

Sailing Model Boats

Computer Programs as Small Boat Teaching Tools-


Tour Of Dupont Shipyard

Tour of Mystic Seaport’s Mill Storage

On the Water

St Ayles Skiffs

Hull Pilot Gigs and Whaleboats

Various Boating Activities



Best regards on behalf of the Steering Committee,

Joe Youcha

August 7th Designated National Lighthouse Day

Montauk Lighthouse. 2012 photo by Candace Clifford

Montauk Lighthouse. 2012 photo by Candace Clifford


1st Session

S. RES. 204

Designating August 7, 2013, as ‘National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day’.


July 30, 2013

Mr. KING (for himself and Ms. COLLINS) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


Designating August 7, 2013, as ‘National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day’.

Whereas August 7, 2013, marks the 224th anniversary of the signing by President George Washington of the Act entitled ‘An Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers’, approved August 7, 1789 (commonly known as the ‘Lighthouse Act of 1789’) (1 Stat. 53, chapter 9);

Whereas that Act, the ninth act of the 1st Congress, established a Federal role in the support, maintenance, and repair of all lighthouses, beacon buoys, and public piers necessary for safe navigation, commissioned the first Federal lighthouse, and represents the first public works act in the young United States;

Whereas the establishment of the United States system of navigational aids set the United States on a path to the forefront of international maritime prominence and established lighthouses that played an integral role in the rich maritime history of the United States, as that history spread from the Atlantic coast, through the Great Lakes and the Gulf coast, to the Pacific States;

Whereas those iconic structures, standing at land’s end through 2 centuries, have symbolized safety, security, heroism, duty, and faithfulness;

Whereas architects, designers, engineers, builders, and keepers devoted, and in some cases jeopardized, their lives for the safety of others during centuries of light tending by the United States Lighthouse Service and the United States Coast Guard;

Whereas the automation of the light system exposed the historic lighthouse towers to the ravages of time and vandalism and yet, at the same time, opened an opportunity for citizen involvement in efforts to save and restore those beacons that mark the evolving maritime history of the United States and its coastal communities;

Whereas the national lighthouse preservation movement has gained momentum over the past half century and is making major contributions to the preservation of maritime history and heritage and, through the development and enhancement of cultural tourism, to the economies of coastal communities in the United States;

Whereas the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-355; 114 Stat. 1385), enacted on October 24, 2000, and with the aid of the lighthouse preservation community, provides an effective process administered by the General Services Administration and the National Park Service for transferring lighthouses to the best possible stewardship groups;

Whereas, for the past several decades, regional and national groups have formed within the lighthouse preservation community to promote lighthouse heritage through research, education, tourism, and publications;

Whereas the earliest and largest regional preservation group, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, headquartered in Michigan, marks its 30th anniversary in 2013, and the largest and oldest national group, the United States Lighthouse Society, which relocated from San Francisco, California, to the State of Washington in 2008, marks its 30th anniversary in 2014;

Whereas other groups have also been formed to promote lighthouse preservation and history, many with regional chapters, including–

(1) a national leadership council and forum named the American Lighthouse Council (formerly the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee), currently headquartered in Illinois;

(2) the American Lighthouse Foundation in Maine;

(3) the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance and Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy;

(4) the Maine Lights Program;

(5) the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society in North Carolina;

(6) the New Jersey Lighthouse Society;

(7) the Florida Lighthouse Association; and

(8) the Lighthouse Preservation Society in Massachusetts;

Whereas major lighthouse publications, including the United States Lighthouse Society’s Keeper’s Log and the Lighthouse Digest, contribute greatly to the promotion of lighthouse heritage and preservation;

Whereas single-lighthouse preservation efforts by individuals or organizations, including historical societies and governments, have even longer histories, including preservation efforts in–

(1) Grosse Point, Illinois, established in 1935;

(2) Buffalo, New York, established in 1962;

(3) Navesink Twin Lights, New Jersey, established in 1962;

(4) Point Fermin, California, established in 1970;

(5) Charlotte-Genesse near Rochester, New York, established in 1965;

(6) Key West, Florida, established in 1969;

(7) Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota, established in 1971;

(8) Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida, established in 1972;

(9) St. Augustine, Florida, established in 1981; and

(10) Fire Island, New York, established in 1982;

Whereas, despite progress, many lighthouses in the United States remain threatened by erosion, neglect, vandalism, and deterioration by the elements;

Whereas Congress passed, and President Ronald Reagan signed, a Joint Resolution entitled ‘Joint Resolution designating the day of August 7, 1989, as ‘National Lighthouse Day’, approved November 5, 1988 (Public Law 100-622; 102 Stat. 3201), in honor of the bicentennial of the United States Lighthouse Service; and

Whereas the many completed, ongoing, or planned private and public efforts to preserve lighthouses demonstrate the public support for those historic structures: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) designates August 7, 2013, as ‘National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day’;

(2) encourages lighthouse grounds to be made open to the general public to the extent feasible; and

(3) encourages the people of the United States to observe National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Commemorating the Charles W. Morgan

Measure Recognizes National Importance of Historic Whaleship’s Launch July 21

Mystic, Conn. – Today the United States Senate passed a resolution celebrating the July 21, 2013 launch of the Charles W. Morgan, the second oldest vessel in the United States and the world’s last remaining wooden whaling vessel.  Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy led the resolution in the Senate. Following a nearly five-year, multimillion dollar restoration, the Morgan will be launched on Sunday in preparation for her first sail in over 80 years.  In the summer of 2014, the Morgan will embark on her 38th Voyage to ports of call up-and-down the New England coast.  The July 21 launch is a critical milestone in this ambitious and world-class endeavor.

“I am overjoyed by the restoration and launch of the Charles W. Morgan,” Blumenthal said. “Through the partnership and cooperation of many organizations across multiple states, we are able to preserve a National Historic Landmark for current and future generations to enjoy, and set sail a living testament to the American ethos of hard work and perseverance. I look forward to attending the Charles W. Morgan’s launch ceremony.”

“Senator Blumenthal and I are proud to honor the Charles W. Morgan whaleship with this Senate resolution,” Murphy said. “The Morgan is an important part of Connecticut’s historic whaling industry, and I’m so grateful to Mystic Seaport for its impressive restoration work to help preserve the last remaining wooden whaleship in the world. I’m also thrilled that the Morgan’s voyage next year–a collaborative effort between 22 states–will focus on raising awareness on environmental protection, and bringing attention to how we can protect our planet’s whale population. I can’t wait for the voyage to begin, and I’ll support its educational efforts along the way.”

Organizations in more than 22 states have contributed labor, materials, and expertise to the Morganrestoration making her 38th Voyage a remarkable national achievement.   As an example of the scope of contributions to the Morgan’s restoration, families in Biloxi, MS, donated 200-year-old live oak trees felled in Hurricane Katrina as a way to continue the legacy of these famous trees.  Other states are hosting satellite exhibits or have built smaller whaleboats to accompany the Morgan.  Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation explained, “The excitement generated by the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage is a testament to the power of history to engage and inspire us. It demonstrates the value of saving the tangible fabric of our shared experience and revitalizing it for contemporary times and new uses.”

The 172-year-old ship is a National Historic Landmark and an icon for the maritime heritage community.  David McCullough, renowned historian and author, added, “The Charles W. Morgan is one of America’s greatest treasures. To explore the Morgan is to experience our country’s maritime past in a way no book or lecture can ever hope to match.”

Whereas the Morgan was once a renowned whaler, her 38th Voyage will recast her as a scientific and educational vessel.  “Whaling in the 19th and early 20th centuries ultimately proved unsustainable economically as well as for whales as a species,” said Daniel J. Basta, Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.  One of the Morgan’s most important destinations will be Stellwagen Bank off of Boston, once a hunting ground and now refuge for whales.  “Sailing through Stellwagen’s waters is key,” said Basta. “The Morgan will sail again, now with a mission to raise public awareness of the importance of protecting our nation’s oceans and its species, and of whale watching as a sustainable business.”

Steve White, President of Mystic Seaport, thanked the Senators for their efforts, saying, “We are grateful to our representatives in the United States Senate for recognizing the importance of the Morgan’s restoration and 38th Voyage to the State of Connecticut, to the nation, and to the world.  Mystic Seaport is grateful to our partners in the 22 states who have and continue to make essential contributions to the success of this endeavor.”