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ACTION ALERT! Public Meeting to Discuss National Heritage Area

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

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We need you to attend a St. Augustine City Commission meeting on Wednesday November 20th to show your support for the proposed Nation's Oldest Port National Heritage Area

The Nation's Oldest Port National Heritage Area is a project that we have invested a lot of time, effort, and enthusiasm in. National Heritage Areas are places with such distinctive history and cultural patrimony that they receive a special designation from Congress and the U.S. Department of the Interior as a place of special heritage. Such a designation also provides access to special grant funding which can go towards historical or archaeological research, historic preservation projects, educational programs, marketing, or other appropriate projects. National Heritage Areas do not entail any governmental regulations (unlike National Parks or Marine Sanctuaries). For the past several years we have been working on building an alliance of community groups, businesses, city and county governments, and other organizations from Nassau through Flagler Counties to create a National Heritage Area in this part of Northeast Florida which would bring attention to the special maritime heritage of the region around the nation's oldest port.

To date, we have seen widespread support throughout the counties that would be included within the proposed Heritage Area. On Wednesday, 20 November 2013, the City of St. Augustine will be having a public meeting, and on the agenda will be the proposal that the City formally support the proposed National Heritage Area as we prepare the final package for review by lawmakers in Washington D.C. We would like anyone who is a supporter of LAMP, the Lighthouse, and the archaeological and historical heritage in our region to come to this meeting to show their support for our National Heritage Area.

The City commission meeting will be at City Hall which is in the Lightner Museum building, across from Flagler College in downtown St. Augustine. It will be held in the Alcazar Room, which is on the ground floor in the westernmost side of the courtyard. The National Heritage Area discussion is seventh on the agenda but it should be the main discussion of the evening.

While we believe that we have strong support for the proposed NHA from the Commission, there has been some misunderstanding of what an NHA is. Some people believe that the NHA might bring with it governmental regulations that might impact fishing or other activities. This is simply not the case, as these areas are special designations that cannot by law include any regulations or restrictions. So we would love the support of our community at this meeting, so that we can show how strongly our community feels about the unique archaeological and historical heritage of our city and our region. It is a special place, and it deserves a special designation.

Please show up on Wednesday at City Hall by 5:00 pm to show your support!

Click here to see maps showing the proposed National Heritage Area boundaries and attractions.

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