State pledges $500,000 toward whaling ship Charles W. Morgan

Hartford – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced an additional $500,000 in funding has been placed on the State Bond Commission agenda to aid the Mystic Seaport in costs associated with the ongoing restoration of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan.

The Seaport will hold a ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday for the relaunch of the Morgan, which has been undergoing a $7 million restoration since 2008. The ship is the world's last surviving wooden whaling ship, the oldest American commercial vessel still in existence and a National Historic Landmark.

"Last year, we launched Still Revolutionary to spark visitor interest in our state by highlighting our rich history and deep roots in the founding of this country – to date, the campaign has boosted attendance at our major attractions by 7 percent and increased awareness in Connecticut as a tourist destination by nearly 20 percent," Malloy said in a statement.

"Our investment in this historic treasure represents our commitment to preserving our maritime heritage and is a small part of a much larger investment to continue to bring more people, business and economic development to our state," he said.

State Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, said the money is expected to be approved in a July 26 meeting. It supplements $500,000 in similar funding approved by the Commission in 2012.

"Over 20 million people have explored the decks of the Morgan since her arrival at the Seaport, and after a comprehensive restoration we can expect her to draw millions more to the region," Maynard said in a statement. "I'm very pleased that the Governor is continuing to invest in the local economy and in the future of Connecticut's tourism industry, keeping our rich maritime tradition alive and providing an invaluable educational resource for students and tourists alike."

Malloy had previously joined Maynard and Stephen White, president of the Mystic Seaport Museum, in announcing that the 2013-14 academic year will be dedicated to the Morgan. Beginning in September 2013, Connecticut students will learn more about the state's unique maritime tradition and its historic relationship with the whaling industry.

Built and launched in New Bedford in 1841, the Morgan sailed on 37 voyages around the globe over an 80-year whaling career.


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