Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum awarded $80k grant from Maryland Heritage Areas Authority

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – CBMM – recently received an $80,000 grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority program under the Maryland Historical Trust. The grant will help fund a new Small Craft Heritage Center project for CBMM, which—with full funding—is projected to begin in 2017. The construction of the Small Craft Heritage Center will assist CBMM in its ongoing mission to preserve and explore the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay region.

The Small Craft Heritage Center is planned to be a freestanding structure on CBMM’s campus and used to preserve and house the majority of CBMM’s smaller historic vessels that are currently stored in locations not accessible to CBMM members and guests. CBMM preserves the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of the region’s watercraft, approximately 90 boats ranging in size from small gunning boats to the 65-foot 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle. The planned Small Craft Heritage Center will be open regularly for CBMM guests, and supports an industry trend of offering more public access to museum collections. Small craft in the SCHC will be principally accessed by the public on guided tours.

“With the largest collection of Chesapeake Bay water craft, CBMM is responsible for the maintenance and physical status of these crafts,” said CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “This Center will bring more of CBMM’s collections to the public while expanding our educational programming opportunities and additional exhibition space.”

“We are beyond thrilled to have this opportunity to share the majority of our Chesapeake Bay vessels with our guests and visitors, as only 45% of our watercraft collection is currently accessible to the public,” commented CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “The Small Craft Heritage Center will allow us to tell a more authentic and complete story of Chesapeake heritage.”

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving nearly 70,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated in a park-like waterfront setting along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. For more information, visit