The financial assistance will be supported by various funding sources, including the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), which provides money to improve infrastructure and expand recreation opportunities in national parks, said Myrna Palfrey, the superintendent of the San Juan National Historic Site.
The resources will be used in the San Felipe del Morro castle, the San Cristobal castle, the San Juan de La Cruz fort, the San Juan gate, and most of the city's historic wall.
For fiscal years 2023 and 2024, the San Juan National Historic Site has embarked on a series of projects to ensure that the historic fortifications are ready to meet the challenges related to the effects of the climate crisis and rising sea levels.
Funding will be used to improve operations, complete conservation work on museum and archive collections, visitor services, protection and education, and the maintenance and preservation of the fortifications, buildings and landscapes that are part of the historic site.
"We have taken a strategic approach to how, where and when to complete projects that will benefit our efforts to preserve this World Heritage Site," Palfrey said, adding that she expects to raise some US$5 million through entrance fees in 2023.
Approximately 55 percent of these funds will be used to address the preservation and maintenance of historic structures and the site, while the remaining revenue from fees will be used for the preservation of the museum's collection, educational programs, and the protection of the visitors.
In fiscal year 2023, the San Juan National Historic Site has invested nearly US$300,000 in restoring historic cannons and cannonballs that will once again be on display at the San Felipe del Morro and San Cristobal castles.
It is also planned to execute a US$39 million project to evaluate and stabilize the historic walls through repairs to critical sections. Before repair work begins, however, deficiencies will be identified through analysis of test samples and inspection using ground penetrating radar.