An Act designating the schooner A.J. Meerwald as the New Jersey State Tall Ship and making an appropriation.
Whereas, The A.J. Meerwald is a Delaware Bay Oyster Schooner, built to meet the needs of New Jersey's oyster fishing industry which, at the time, was the backbone of the region's economy and culture; and
Whereas, Constructed in 1928 in Dorchester, New Jersey, the A.J. Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey's Delaware bayshore representing a nationally significant vessel type designed and built only in New Jersey; and
Whereas, The Delaware Bay Schooner Project was founded in 1988 to conserve and enrich the history, culture and environment of the Delaware Estuary and the coastal waters of New Jersey; and
Whereas, The A.J. Meerwald was donated to the Delaware Bay Schooner Project in 1989 and was painstakingly restored by dedicated New Jerseyans; and
Whereas, The Delaware Bay Schooner Project uses the ship as a sailing classroom to promote ecological and historical awareness of the Delaware Bay and the waters of New Jersey; and
Whereas, In 1995, the A.J. Meerwald was added to the National Register of Historic Places; and
Whereas, New Jersey is a maritime state with a rich heritage and vast natural legacy worthy of celebration, recognition and stewardship; and
Whereas, The A.J. Meerwald is an ideal symbol of New Jersey's great heritage and an effective classroom for teaching the youth of New Jersey; now, therefore,
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
C.52:9A-8 A.J. Meerwald designated New Jersey State Tall Ship.
1. The schooner A.J. Meerwald is designated as the New Jersey State Tall Ship.
2. There is appropriated $95,000 from the General Fund to the Delaware Bay Schooner Project for the maintenance and operation of the A.J. Meerwald.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
Approved April 21, 1998.