Coastal Heritage Alliance’s national headquarters are located in St. Michaels, Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. This region, also known as the Eastern Shore, is rich in American maritime history and contemporary seafaring culture. Commercial fishermen, or watermen, and their families, have survived on these
shores for generations by harvesting the bounty of the seas. This unique, yet threatened way of life, provides CHA with on-going opportunities to assist local coastal communities with the preservation of their fishing vessels, the passing-on of maritime skills and the documentation of their oral histories.
Coastal Heritage Alliance is actively restoring the 1901 oyster dredging skipjack Kathryn. The restoration is taking place at Scotts Cove Marina in Chance, Maryland, under a big blue revival tent.
Coastal Heritage Alliance uses historic vessel restoration projects as opportunities to pass on knowledge and skills to apprentices who are dedicated to learning the trade.
The livelihoods of Maryland watermen have been heavily impacted by the decline in shellfish and finfish populations in the Chesapeake Bay. The Watermen’s Heritage Tourism Training Program provides watermen and their families with the skills, knowledge, and training to participate in or build new heritage tourism businesses associated with Maryland’s maritime attractions.
Built in 1953, skipjack Caleb W. Jones is one of the only surviving oyster dredge boats of the once mighty Chesapeake fleet. Coastal Heritage Alliance staff, apprentices, and volunteers fully restored the sailing vessel, which now hosts environmental and cultural education programs.