- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - A $375,000 challenge grant has put the completion of a project to restore the historic fishing schooner Ernestina-Morrissey within sight.

The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association Inc., the nonprofit overseeing the $6.3 million restoration effort, announced the grant from the Manton Foundation this week. If it can match the grant with its own fundraising efforts, the $750,000 will be enough to make the schooner seaworthy.

The Ernestina-Morrissey is a National Historic Landmark Vessel and the official vessel of the state.

It was launched in 1894 in Essex. It was later used to explore the Arctic and for trips between the U.S. and Cape Verde.

Once the restoration project is complete, the schooner will be used as a training vessel for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and as a tourist attraction in New Bedford.

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