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NPS Gives $10 Million Grant To VI For Historic Resources Damaged By 2017 Hurricanes

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The National Park Service awarded the territory at least $10 million dollars in supplemental funding to the Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Office (VISHPO).

The NPS funds are primarily intended to replace the “historic and archaeological resources” in the U.S. Virgin Islands that were “impacted” by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, DPNR Commissioner nominee Jean-Pierre Oriol said Friday.

This funding through the Emergency Supplemental Funding from the Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) will allow the VISHPO to administer a Historic Recovery Grant Program to assist in the repair of hurricane damaged National Register-listed or eligible sites throughout the territory, according to Oriol.

Through ESHPF over $5 million will go towards the restoration of these sites. $1M will go towards the assistance of restoring Government House in Charlotte Amalie and the Battery on St. John and Up to $2M will be used for administrative costs. 

Any balances will be eligible for use towards restoration of other sites. 

The State Historic Preservation Office is currently developing the eligibility criteria and more information will be released to the public once finalized.  All funded repair work must substantially mitigate the threat and include steps to mitigate future damages.

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), derived from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenues, was established in 1977 as the primary source of funding to implement the Federal Preservation Partnership program. Annual grants are made to States, Tribes, and local governments under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Commissioner nominee Jean-Pierre Oriol (left) and Megan Brown, Chief
Division of States, Tribal, Local Plans & Grants, National Park Service sign off on the agreement Friday. Photo credit:  Mathew John of NPS

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