Baltimore -- 3/12/15 -- The USS Constellation is guided back to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The Constellation had been undergoing restoration work at the yard since October. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore -- 3/12/15 -- The USS Constellation is guided back to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The Constellation had been undergoing restoration work at the yard since October. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun) (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

The nonprofit steward of Baltimore's tall ship Constellation has been awarded an $89,596 federal grant for the continuing preservation of the historic sloop-of-war.

Living Classrooms, which uses the ship for educational programs with children, received the grant under a joint initiative by the National Park Service and the Maritime Administration that awarded a total of about $2.6 million in grants Monday for "maritime history education and preservation projects" across the country.

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"Our maritime heritage is woven into the nation's history and identity," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis in a statement. "These grants will not only help preserve our maritime resources for future generations, but many of these projects will also directly connect communities to that heritage through educational outreach and involvement in preservation efforts."

Funding for the grants was provided by the Maritime Administration under a program that recycles vessels from its National Defense Reserve Fleet.

The Living Classrooms program, Historic Ships in Baltimore, will use its grant funding to rehabilitate the Constellation's spar, fighting top and rigging, the National Park Service said.

"We are grateful for the support of the National Park Service and the Maritime Administration as we continue the repairs to the masts and rigging of USS Constellation," said Chris Rowsom, Historic Ships' executive director. "The ship just doesn't look the same without her lofty spars and this grant will help us return her to her original majesty."

In February, the Constellation returned to its regular berth in the Inner Harbor after being in dry dock since October in Curtis Bay, where its hull underwent extensive repairs for rot.

The ship, a National Historic Landmark, dates to 1854 and is the descendant of another ship of the same name that was first launched from the Sterrett Shipyard in Baltimore in 1797.

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