What Happens to Historic Sites After a Hurricane?

Hurricane historic property recovery ACHP
NASA satellite image of Hurricane Maria.

With so many people still reeling from destruction wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) says it’s trying to help.  


The ACHP, in their words, “is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.”


Current hurricane recovery efforts undertaken by ACHP include working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recruit preservationists ready to volunteer 30 to 45 days of their lives to help save historic properties.  


The council is also working to speed up historic preservation reviews, designed to ensure historic properties are not destroyed by construction activities among other things, in places like Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.   And it says it’s working with preservation partners to create a two year grant program that would provide $150 million for historic property restoration.  


Grant money would come from the Historic Preservation Fund which gets its money from Outer Continental Shelf oil leases.  The Advisory Council is also asking Congress to pass legislation that would increase the historic properties rehabilitation tax credit for three years.  The ACHP says their proposed grants and tax credits are in keeping with Congressional actions taken to aid victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

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