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Md. can preserve history — on land and in the water

It may be one of Maryland's least known historic places, but the Obama Administration is putting Mallows Bay back on the map.

The recently announced grants to help restore the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse and the Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis (“Arundel’s Thomas Point lighthouse, Hammond-Harwood house each net $100,000 in historic preservation grants,” July 17) are excellent news for Maryland residents and visitors alike. This type of funding is key to retaining the historic resources and unique character of Maryland’s communities. Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to fully fund the Maryland Historical Trust’s capital grant program rightfully recognizes the value that historic preservation brings to supporting the state’s tourism economy and should be applauded.

In Charles County, there is a similar opportunity to support historic preservation efforts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is currently evaluating the Ghost Fleet in Mallows Bay for designation as the Chesapeake Bay region’s first national marine sanctuary. This site has approximately 200 shipwrecks and is the largest and most varied collection in the Western Hemisphere. A sanctuary designation would bring more visitors and new tourism-based business opportunities to support the economy in Southern Maryland. Governor Hogan’s support for this effort would be another valuable contribution to the protection of Maryland’s historic places.

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Sharee Williamson, Washington, D.C.

The writer is associate general counsel of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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