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Ocracoke lighthouse

Hatteras Village and Ocracoke Selected as Preserve America Communities
Initiative supports cultural preservation

Hatteras Village and Ocracoke are two of the seven areas of North Carolina selected to be Preserve America communities. Preserve America is a White House initiative that supports a community's preservation of its natural heritage. The goals of the program include "a greater shared knowledge about the Nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities" according to the Preserve America web site.

The Preserve America initiative makes use of three Federal programs to provide funding for community efforts to preserve historic structures and natural resources:

• The U.S. Department of the Interior's Cooperative Conservation Initiative (CCI) helps build partnerships between land managers and landowners to conserve natural resources.

• The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has directed the Economic Development Administration to support Preserve America projects as potential investment opportunities.

Save America's Treasures is a program to rescue historic sites, monuments, artifacts and documents that "tell America's story."

Hatteras Village and Ocracoke were selected as Preserve America communities in part because of how they use their historical assets for economic revitalization. The five other areas selected in North Carolina are Thomasville, Gaston County, Gastonia, Kinston and Edenton.

Hatteras Village
Seven years ago, 119 items of historical significance were identified in Hatteras Village including five historic vessels and two Civil War forts. A recent addition is the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The museum presents the maritime history of the area, information about Billy Mitchell and local antiques.

Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the Village of Ocracoke features the oldest lighthouse still in operation in North Carolina in addition to many historic commercial buildings and private homes. Ocracoke also is part of the Historic Albemarle Tour and the North Carolina Civil War Trail.

For more information about the Preserve America initiative, visit www.preserveamerica.gov.

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