BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 31, 2000 -- The Glacier Society today
praised the US congressmen and women who voted to pass historic
federal legislation to transfer the USS/USCGC Glacier to the society
for restoration and public service. The bill is expected to be approved
by the Senate and signed into law by President Clinton shortly.
"Thanks to the bipartisan efforts on Capital Hill and the support
of Connecticut's leadership in Washington, America is one step closer
to enjoying this historic national treasure as a permanent bastion
of polar education and research," said Glacier Society Chairman
Bernard G. Koether. "With the help and dedication of our passionate
members, supporters, and corporate donors, financing and executing
the restoration of the Glacier is now our primary focus."
The House approved the measure on May 18, as an amendment to the
Department of Defense authorization bill. The amendment was sponsored
by Congressman Christopher Shays, R-Conn. The companion Senate bill
is co-sponsored by Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Joseph Lieberman,
"I support the intentions of the Glacier Society to operate the
Glacier in Bridgeport (Conn.), as a funtioning museum ship to educate
students and the general public about military service and the exploration
of the North and South Poles, as well as to honor members of the
U.S. Armed Forces." said Shays. "I am hopeful the ship will serve
as a major tourist attraction in Bridgeport."
With the assistance of architects M. Rosenblatt and Sons, an active
group of volunteers has already begun restoration of the Glacier
in San Fransisco, Ca., where the ship is anchored at Suisan Bay
on the Sacramento River. Once the ship is restored, the society
plans to berth her in Bridgeport Harbor, Bridgeport, Conn., as an
operating educational and research vessel.
"We are pleased the bill's passage is giving new life to this distinguished
ship," said Capt. P.W. Porter, Jr., honorary chairman of the Glacier
Society. "She carried Admiral Richard E. Byrd to the South Pole
on his last voyage to Antarctica and was the first ship to make
entry to the Bellinghausen Sea."
# # #