The 150-year-old Fort Jefferson is seeing a boost in funds for restoration and upkeep projects thanks to Congress' stimulus bill passed last year; current restoration projects on Fort Jefferson were allocated $7 million (though fort engineers estimate an additional $13 million is required for proper completion of all projects)
Online PR News – 24-April-2010 – – The 150-year old Fort Jefferson, located on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas, will receive much-needed monetary support for projects that are working on restoring parts of the brick fort that have suffered damage over the decades mostly due to severe weather conditions. Restoration projects on Fort Jefferson have been taking place for almost 30 years. Thanks to the stimulus bill passed by Congress last year, Fort Jefferson restoration projects will receive an additional $7 million from Congress.
While its immense size and its remote marine setting make restoration projects at Fort Jefferson seem highly difficult, dedicated workers and contractors have been on the island for the past 30 years working on crumbling parts of the fort in an effort to keep the fort standing strong for generations to come. The projects, however, can prove to be highly expensive and while the money allotted to projects by Congress is a big help, experts say another $13 million will be needed for proper completion of projects.
The fact that Congress finds Fort Jefferson restoration projects important enough to fund comes as good news to Dry Tortugas lovers and employees at the Dry Tortugas Information Center. "This shows that the government does have some interest in preserving history and supporting eco-tourism," says Rudy Rodriguez, a reservations agent at the Dry Tortugas Information Center.
Restoration projects on Fort Jefferson will hardly affect the 45-minute guided historic tour of the fort that passengers aboard the two Dry Tortugas ferries go on. The projects focus on one specific area of the fort at any given time and thanks to Fort Jefferson's immense size, guests in Fort Jefferson will not find projects obtrusive.
The Dry Tortugas National Park is definitely one of the country's most unique national parks. Mixing the unique history of Fort Jefferson with the natural beauty of the coral reef gardens off the coast of the islands (where thousands of guests experience what many consider the best Key West snorkeling every year), there is no destination in the United States quite like the Dry Tortugas.