The National Park Service and the nonprofit group Pacific Historic Parks today launched an effort to win grant money to preserve historic Pearl Harbor battleship moorings.
The USS Arizona, USS West Virginia and other battleships were tied to the moorings when Japanese planes bombed the naval base on Dec. 7, 1941.
Their project is among 20 park historic sites across the country competing for the grants from Partners in Preservation, a campaign funded by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Winners will be determined by votes cast online at www.VoteYourPark.org through July 5.
The Pearl Harbor project would restore six concrete mooring quays lining Battleship Row. Steel components of the structures are rusting, and the moorings may collapse if they are not restored.
“This is a site that changed the 20th century,” said Scott Pawlowski, chief of cultural resources at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Organizers aim to receive $250,000 in grant money to get the project started. The full cost of the conservation work is expected to total about $5 million. Pacific Historic Parks will lead a fundraising campaign for the remainder of the funds.
The Navy built 16 mooring quays in Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attack to create additional space for the Pacific Fleet. The National Park Service currently manages six of them, including two next to the Arizona’s sunken hull.
The Concrete Preservation Institute will handle the restoration work. The organization will train Army and Navy servicemen planning to leave active duty service to do the work to help prepare them for life after the military. Marines and airmen may join the project as well. The institute aims to begin restoration work in September.