Thursday, September 25, 2014

STORIS and ACUSHNET brought to attention of NPS at heritage conference

Last week, there was a major maritime heritage conference held in Norfolk at the NAUTICUS museum.

After reviewing the program, there were several topics that related to issues involving STORIS and ACUSHNET. Among the speakers were retired CG Commandant Robert Papp.

The most relevant program was a presentation Saturday related to the benefits of listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Jim Loback and I nominated STORIS for listing in the summer of 2012 and she was listed officially as nationally significant on Dec. 31, 2012. A year later, she was being cut apart on the beach in Ensenada by Mexican yardbirds.

I quickly wrote up an outline of the situation with a cover letter and sent the materials by email to Erika Seibert (, the representative from the National Park Service who was giving the presentation. I copied Paul Lusignan, the NPS official who had been involved with STORIS’ National Register nomination. I also sent the document to some other key people I knew were going to the event.

The cover letter is here:

The document is here:

After it was sent, it came to my attention that I had made a small error in the acronym for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for which I erroneously inserted “Protection” for “Policy.” That has been corrected in the document posted here. I have also updated my position as it related to Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act to further clarify the situation with the federal government’s responsibilities to preserve and protect STORIS and ACUSHNET.

I have heard back that the document ended up in print form and was made available to several people, who picked up copies at the conference. I hope that it will do some good, as I was told that those people who picked up the document seemed to be thoughtfully reviewing it.

STORIS should have been celebrated at this event, not mourned.

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