CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two parks in the Lowcountry have an upgraded status.
This week President Donald Trump signed U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park Act. Scott wrote the bill to revamp protections overseeing some of South Carolina’s historic locations as well as give them more notoriety.
Scott came to the Lowcountry on Friday morning to host a press conference with Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and park officials.
“One of the reasons why South Carolina, and specifically Charleston, remains consistently one of the top five places to tour, one of the top places to visit, in the world is because we take seriously our responsibly of preserving and protecting America’s history found in the Holy City," Scott said.
Acting Superintendent of Ft. Sumter and Ft. Moultrie, Dawn Davis, was the first to welcome everyone to the official national parks on Friday morning.
She said one of the biggest benefits to upgrading Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie to national parks is the ability to reach more visitors. The bill also commemorates the lives of the free and enslaved workers who built the forts as well as the soldiers who defended the forts.
“It has a more in-depth listing of the historic resources that we as a national park service are challenged with: preserving and protecting not for just this generation but for all generations,” Davis said.
Specific details of the bill include:
- Establishes Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
- Codifies clear and defining boundaries of federally managed land at Fort Sumter
- 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, nearly a million people visit Ft. Sumter National Monument and Ft. Moultrie.