The USS Monitor needs your help

Earlier this week, the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News suspended preservation activities related to the USS MonitorFrom their website:

The Mariners’ Museum is temporarily closing a 5,000-square foot lab that houses the American Civil War ironclad USS Monitor’s gun turret and other large artifacts following the Dec. 31, 2013 expiration of an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Marine Sanctuary Program. The lab will re-open once funding is secured. The decision to close the “wet lab” does not impact the rest of the Museum operation.

You may read more from the museum’s press release.  Working together, NOAA and the museum have done excellent work in the past to preserve the important artifacts related to the Monitor.   Today you can visit the museum and view many items which have undergone the preservation process:

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View the propeller from the Monitor.

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And actually touch parts of the Monitor:

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But you won’t be able to view the items undergoing the slow process of stabilization and restoration:

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And while those artifacts remain secure and safe, the long process of preservation is delayed.

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What can you do?

Consider adding your name to this petition.  Then please spread the word.  1,000 signatures so far, and counting.