Wednesday | June 28, 2017

Scott, Sanford Aim to Preserve Historic Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie

Washington - As longtime residents of South Carolina, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC 1st District) place a special emphasis on protecting the historic areas that are a part of the state's unique character. That is why today both members introduced the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Park Act of 2017, which will provide oversight and protection to some of South Carolina's most significant sites.

Scott and Sanford introduced this legislation on Carolina Day, a day marking the 241st Anniversary of the Battle of Sullivan's Island, which was fought at Fort Moultrie and considered a key Patriot victory during the Revolutionary War.

"Our state's history extends well beyond our borders, and runs deep through the very soul of the American story," said Scott. "It is so important that we preserve these special places, so they can be enjoyed and appreciated for generations to come."

"These two sites are profoundly important to our nation and represent an essential part of South Carolina's role in securing the personal freedoms we all enjoy today," said Sanford. "Establishing the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Park will honor those who lived, worked, and died there as well as help to preserve these sites that remain such an important part of our history."

The bill, which has already received support from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Sumter-Fort Moultrie Historical Trust, establishes a clear management plan for the preservation and maintenance of the site, and also has the potential to enhance local economic opportunities and growth for the surrounding area by increased tourism and visitation.

Specific details of the bill include:

  • Establishes Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Park
  • Codifies clear and defining boundaries of federally managed land at Fort Sumter
  • Provides the National Park Service with a clear management plan for future park, maintenance, and development
  • Recognizes the importance of Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and the Sullivan's Island Life Saving Station Historic District in American history and the role they played in protecting the Charleston Harbor during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the development of the United States coastal defense system from 1776 to 1947
  • Commemorates the lives of the free and enslaved workers who built Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie, the soldiers who defended the forts, the prisoners held there, and the captive Africans brought to America as slaves
  • Bolsters the tourism potential of the community by increasing the visibility, prestige, and notoriety of the sites by upgrading the federal designation to national park

Each year, Fort Sumter National Monument and Fort Moultrie attract nearly a million visitors to see where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter has been recognized as a national monument since 1948, and since 1960, Fort Moultrie has been administered by the National Parks Service as part of Fort Sumter without a clear management mandate or established boundary.

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