Thursday, December 21, 2017

Last week we learned our grant for additional funds to improve HMS Florida that was ranked 13 fell to 54. The first ranking was based on public hearings November 2 under the authority of the Florida Historical Commission. Last week Secretary of State Ken Detzer reordered the list in the grant book submitted for the 2018 budget. Below are a few documents we wanted to share with our HMS Florida volunteers and partners on the grant.
FPAN Executive Director William Lees response to Secretary Detzner view pdf.

Original rankings by Florida Historical Commission post November 2, 2017 public grant hearings, pdf of full list

Reordered list by Secretary of State published in the grant book week of December 11, 2017, pdf of full list

Other high ranked projects reordered by the Secretary:

DEP Fort Clinch ranked #2 fell to 51
FSU Mission San Luis ranked #3 fell to 52
Apalachicola Arsenal Museum ranked #10 fell to 53
St. Augustine Lighthouse ranked #17 fell to 55
Wakulla Springs Lodge ranked #26 fell to 56
Orange County Regional Center ranked #35 fell to 57

Overview information about our HMS Florida special category grant application :
  • Our grant would benefit every county in Florida. We are currently active in 42 and pledged a monitoring activity in every county as a result of the grant.
  • We requested $242,700 for a 3d scanner that can quickly map a site with pinpoint accuracy, a LiDAR puck to create high-quality aerial (via drone) laser-data to document site degradation, and funds to help manage the database and coordinate logistics for the program.
  • FPAN staff from all regions contributed to the grant including committments from our hosts: Flagler College, University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and University of West Florida.
  • Scope of the grant included monitoring 500 sites on state owned land in an effort to assist land managers. We further proposed to digitally scan 24 of the most endangered sites to track macro and micro changes to the site during the duration of the grant. 
  • Activities during the grant would be reported in a glossy magazine for the public.
  • The Florida Historical Commission responded favorably to our grant, increasing funding to $432,700 to further support management of the database, further improve coordination, and boat fees to reach remote sites.

302 volunteers monitored changes to 650 sites as of 12/20/17.
At this time we have little information as to why the grants were reordered or if anything can be done to restore the Florida Historical Commissions recommendations. If you are interested in the statute and guidelines related to authorization of rankings, the statute language can be found online here and  the guidelines here (page 11, point 8). FPAN offices will reopen January 2 and we will continue to share what information becomes available.

We want to thank the individuals and organizations that pledged their support for this project for our grant application:

Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, Florida House of Representatives 
Dr. Paul N. Backhouse, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and Tribal Historic Preservation Office
Mr. William M. Stanton, Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
Dr. Michael Shirley, GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve
Mr. Peter De Witt, Bureau of Land Management 
Dr. Kenneth E. Sassaman,University of Florida 
Mr. Christian Davenport, Palm Beach County
Ms. Crystal Geiger, St. Johns County 
Ms. Amy E. Griffin, St. Lucie County 
Mr. Lonnie Mann, Panhandle Archaeological Society 
Dr. Nancy I.M. Morgan, Goodwood Museum and Gardens 
Ms. Melissa Wyllie, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation 
Dr. Zackary I. Gilmore, Rollins College 
Dr. Kyle Freund, Indian River State College 
Mr. Brian L. Polk, Volusia County Historic Preservation Board 
Mr. Patrick Dwyer, Heritage Monitoring Scouts Volunteer 
Ms. Melissa DePriest, Indian River State College
Ms. Linda Chandler, St. Augustine Archaeological Association

For more information on HMS Florida, please visit our website or view our annual report also posted on this blog. For more information on the Division of Historical Resources special category grants, visit DHR's grants news page.

Shell bluff landing- forground image shows monitor recording well pre Hurricane Matthew 9/28/2016, post Matthew 10/12/16 and in the background post Irma 9/20/17.

Text and images: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

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