FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 5, 1996
Lowry signs bill to assist historic ships Virginia V and the Lady Washington
SEATTLE - In a ceremony aboard
the Virginia V (5) on Seattle's Lake Union, Gov. Mike Lowry today
signed into law a bill that will encourage private financial assistance
for the historic ships Virginia V and the Lady Washington. Lowry
was joined during the signing of House Bill 2509 by Secretary
of State Ralph Munro and other supporters of recreational boating
and historic preservation.
The new law will encourage boat owners to contribute an extra
amount to their annual vessel license fee to be used specifically
for restoration of the two historic ships.
"The Lady Washington and the Virginia V are integral parts
of our state's rich maritime history and deserve preservation
and display," Lowry said.
The 73-year-old Virginia V, the last of Puget Sound's famed Mosquito
Fleet, must undergo an overhaul to meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements.
The ship carries the designation of National Historic Landmark.
The Lady Washington is an authentic replica of the 18th century
brig captained by explorer Robert Gray on his expeditions to the
Pacific Northwest and is used as an educational attraction in
Grays Harbor. Both vessels have met their operating costs, but
they have not been able to keep up with financial needs related
to repair and renovation.
"It is our hope that every boat owner in the state will 'adopt'
these vessels through this program" said Munro, who requested
this legislation. As secretary of state, Munro directs the Washington
State Archives and is an ex-officio board member of the Washington
State Historical Society. He also co-chaired the state's Centennial
celebration in 1989.
Participation in the historic ship projects will be completely
voluntary. Annual registration renewal notices mailed by the state
Department of Licensing will include a check-off where boat owners
could indicate they have provided an additional amount for the
organizations operating the vessels. There are some 243,600 marine
vessels currently registered in the state of Washington.
For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office