The following is a press release. It comes from the Wisconsin Historical Society.
The Society will receive nearly $1 million in federal funding to help pay for installation of exhibits at the new Learning and Visitor Center at Wade House and to conduct archaeological surveys of five historic Lake Michigan shipwreck sites. The Society expects both projects to enhance local heritage tourism opportunities.
Local tourism. Yes! From across America, people will come to the Visitor Center at Wade House to learn about sunk ships. I can see it now!
If you sink it, they will come!
Where did the money come from? Who wants to increase the public’s awareness of sunk ships. The Federal Highway Administration.
The funding comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Enhancement program. It will come in the form of reimbursements administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation after the two projects’ completion. The funds support qualifying projects that fit one of 12 criteria relating to surface transportation.
Apparently, the two organizations want to remind voters of the terrible risks associated with water-based transportation.
About $170,000 “will support the Society’s underwater archaeology program with a project called Wisconsin’s Historic Shipwrecks: Documenting and Promoting our Maritime Past. The project will involve conducting archaeological surveys of five shipwrecks, one pictured here, that represent a cross section of historically significant vessel types that have sailed Wisconsin waters.”
This will probably create a response from the Department of Lake Management, which will put up money for a museum exhibit of 15-car freeway pile-ups.
Archaeological documentation of the shipwrecks will allow for their nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, providing the sites with additional layers of legal protection. The project will also develop educational and outreach materials as well as historic markers using data and images collected during the surveys. Those data and images will also document the sites on two websites: wisconsinshipwrecks.org and maritimetrails.org.
Finally, the project will result in the addition of state-sponsored mooring buoys to mark the five sites and promote visitation by divers while protecting the sites from improper anchoring techniques.
And you thought government bureaucrats waste your money.