National Working Waterfront Network Receive Grant to Support Cultural Heritage of Working Waterfront Communities

by Catherine Schmitt

National Working Waterfront Network steering Committee members Kenneth Walker, Stephanie Otts, Natalie Springuel, and Kristen Grant have received a $9,000 grant from the NOAA Preserve America Initiative. The project, which is intended to build on the Outreach and Education Committee’s case study work, will capture both oral histories on working waterfront issues and community efforts to preserve working waterfronts. The grant funds were awarded to NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. The National Sea Grant Law Center will provide the primary administrative support for this project, with assistance from Maine Sea Grant to coordinate planning, implementation, dissemination, and archiving of the oral histories.

Funding is available to produce ten oral histories. Interviewees for the “Voices from the Working Waterfront” project will include land use planners, community organizers, waterfront business owners, and fishermen. In the coming months, an ad hoc committee of the NWWN will be formed to serve as project advisory team and the project team will begin developing selection criteria and a process for identifying communities and individuals to be featured in the oral histories. At the end of the project, the oral histories will be archived in the “Voices from the Fisheries” database and linked to the National Working Waterfront Network website for public access.