Basically, the CNMI Historic Preservation office announces the winner of a grant that applies to the CNMI.
The grant: the 2009 American Battlefield Protection Program grant is one of 33 grants awarded by the National Park Service to help preserve important American battle sites. The grant amounts range from about $21,000 to $78,000. The CNMI grant is for $49,967.
Photo by Jane Resture
The awardee: the grant goes to the Ships of Discovery and Exploration. From its website, it seems to have a diverse group of experts in science, archeology, marine exploration, and more. They've been involved in underwater archeology since 1989, and played a role in establishing the "Turks and Caicos National Museum" in the Caribbean. They seem to have the means and ability to do the job.
The job: As described in the announcement on the ABPP site:
The Battle of Saipan, which was fought between American and Japanese forces in the Mariana Islands during World War II, was one of the most politically and militarily significant battles of the war - American capture of Saipan brought land-based, long range B-29 bombers within range of striking Japan. Through archeological survey and GIS mapping of Invasion Beach at Tanapag Lagoon, this project will identify and document submerged remains of the Battle of Saipan for use in the future development of an underwater maritime heritage trail.
So it appears the Historic Preservation is hoping to develop an underwater maritime heritage trail--another great idea with cultural and tourism potential.
And all this means someone (namely HPO) is doing something right. Good.