Author Archives: CAMM

About CAMM

Administrator, Council of American Maritime Museums

NS Savannah Comment Period

As many of you know, MARAD has been working for the past few years on the first phase of it decommissioning project.  Well, that phase is finished, and we’re now close to awarding the service contract for the dismantlement of the NS Savannah nuclear power plant, leading to termination of our license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The process to accomplish the dismantlement and license termination will take from 4-5 years to complete.  When the license is terminated, MARAD will be free to dispose of the ship.

Again, as you know, our hope is to accomplish a seamless license termination and disposition, so the pending contract award will start the clock running on disposition.  To that end, MARAD published a Federal Register notice to seek public input and comment on the disposition.  This is just a first step in the disposition process, and we’re not yet asking for actual proposals to take the ship (although we have received at least one in concept already).

If you haven’t already done so, I am hoping that will take some time this weekend or on Monday to review the notice and provide comments to MARAD.  The attached newsletter of the NS Savannah Chapter of the Universal Ship Cancellation Society includes the complete notice, so you don’t have to look it up on the web.  You can provide comments without going to the website; just send them by email as below.  This is a lot easier, and emailed comments have the same weight and get the same consideration as those posted on the website (in fact, MARAD uploads email and snail mail comments to the online docket, so everything is altogether in one spot).

The email address is:  You’ll need to include the docket number in the subject line of your email: that is  “MARAD-2020-0133“. 

Although most of you are familiar with the project, here are a few key things to consider when thinking about the ship’s potential future:

  • The dismantlement only involves what’s inside the reactor compartment.  The rest of the ship is not affected.
  • The rest of the ship is in great shape!  In fact, we’ve made many improvements to it to support the contract activities, and those improvements can be adapted to any sort of preservation use – except for a hotel.
  • Savannah is well equipped for any type of service; she’s all electric; climate controlled in all public spaces, two cargo holds, the reactor compartment, and working gallery spaces; she has modern, Baltimore fire department compliant fire & smoke detection and functional alarm systems throughout; she’s well equipped for personnel access and emergency egress; the list goes on.  In my opinion she’s already a better-outfitted “museum-like” vessel than most actual museum ships.

So the thing here is that the dismantlement project really should be the first step in Savannah’s next career; and doesn’t need to be her last step overall.

I thank you in advance for taking some time to read the notice, and provide comments to the docket.  And do please feel free to forward this around.



5-minute updates at 2021 conference

At every CAMM conference there is an opportunity for museums to tell attendees about recent exciting developments in their museums. This year’s virtual conference will be no different. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact the CAMM Administrator with an email to There is only a limited number of slots available, so be quick!

AASLH Annual National Visitation Survey for History Organizations.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is currently accepting responses to their annual “National Visitation Survey for History Organizations,” the only national effort to monitor and report on in-person visitation trends at history museums, historic sites, and other history organizations. This survey will help the field assess the impact extended closures from Covid-19, climate change, social unrest, and more had on our institutions last year. In addition to asking about changes to in-person visitation from 2019 to 2020, the survey includes a special section about the impact of the pandemic on operations, capacity restrictions, and staffing.

Your response is absolutely critical to this effort. With information about budget, staffing, and visitation on-hand, the survey should only take about ten minutes. Your contribution to this survey will help the entire field better understand the impact 2020 had on the history community and help AASLH provide better resources and support for the road ahead. Please complete the survey and encourage colleagues at other institutions to do the same.

The survey closes on March 31.

Maritime Administration Announces Comment Period for Future Use of the Historic Vessel NS Savannah

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has published a Federal Register Notice inviting comments on MARAD’s future plans for the N.S. Savannah (NSS). The notice can be found at 

Under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), MARAD is engaged in formal consultations with federal, state, and organizational stakeholders, and expects to enter into a Programmatic Agreement with those stakeholders in the next few months. The agreement includes a stipulation that details how MARAD will consider future uses for the vessel after its nuclear power plant is fully decommissioned. 

Comments can be submitted electronically online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at under docket number MARAD-2020-0133.  Alternatively, comments may be mailed to the following address: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.  In person submissions are being accepted in accordance with social distancing protocols in place.

All submissions to the docket will be posted without change to and will include any personal information you provide. 

Annual Navy History and Heritage Awards Program

Deadline for nominations is 1 June 2021. Nomination forms and criteria for the new awards is found on the link below. For questions on these awards and for submitting nominations, the POC is Roger Raber at 202-433-9696; ( But while Roger is on military leave to 1 March, the Interim POC is Jeff Barta at 202-433-3973 (


The dates of the 2021 CAMM virtual conference have been changed. The meeting will take place April 19-21, 2021.

This year’s registration rate is $39.00 which includes access to all sessions, virtual social events, and use of the online archive of sessions for 90 days from the end of the conference. Registration will open on February 22, 2021.

The conference will be presented via a customized platform and speakers will have the opportunity to access technical support before and during the conference. In addition to the usual presentations and panels, there will be virtual social events, making this year’s conference both informative and rewarding.

Due to their affordable nature (with no travel or lodging expenses), online conferences usually attract a much larger number of registrants, which means your presentation will reach a much broader audience.

The call for proposal deadline remains February 12, 2021.

Please take a moment to review the submission guidelines at and feel free to contact the Chair of the Program Committee, Laura Orr, with any questions at

We look forward to your attendance and participation!