Officials Relaunch Effort to Add Mare Island to National Park System

first_imgThe city of Vallejo, Calif., and the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation have rekindled their bid to add the 161-year-old Mare Island Naval Shipyard to the national park system.Incorporation into the National Park Service would prevent the shipyard’s historic structures from falling into disrepair and keep shipyard artifacts from being scattered across the country, according to the foundation.The effort to integrate the historic sections of the shipyard, located in the northeastern portion of the San Francisco Bay area, into the park system began after the site was designated for closure in 1993, according to Dennis Kelly, a project manager for the foundation. In 2011, the National Park Service turned down such a request over concerns about the cost of repairs needed by the site’s historic resources and the ongoing cleanup, rather than its lack of suitability.A park service study of the proposal concluded that there are “no other sites that tell the story of the development of naval facilities on the West Coast over the period of history covered by Mare Island Naval Shipyard.”The park service previously had said preserving the shipyard’s historic resources should be one of the highest priorities in planning for the site’s reuse, Kelly said.Mare Island was established in 1854 as the first naval base on the West Coast. Its primary mission was to build, maintain, and repair Navy ships and submarines. More than 500 ships were built there before its closure in 1996.Incorporating Mare Island into the park system would support Vallejo’s effort to boost tourism by promoting its naval heritage. The foundation has preserved and maintained historical buildings at the shipyard, but the group is looking for the National Park Service to step in to provide additional resources, Kelly said.Lennar continues to redevelop Mare Island, a National Historic Landmark, according to a plan calling for 1,400 homes, 7 million square feet of commercial and industrial space, and recreational areas. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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