Governors Island Proclamation Set to Become Law Maloney Heralds Fort Designation as Major Victory for New York
WASHINGTON-- Today, the White House released a Presidential Proclamation, signed by President Clinton, to grant national monument status to the forts and associated ordinance buildings on Governors Island.
Although the proclamation was originally signed by President Clinton on Friday evening, it was placed on hold by President Bush along with all other last-minute Presidential actions until it could be approved by the new administration. The White House approved this action earlier today and the forts of Governors Island will officially become national monuments when the Presidential Proclamation is published in the Federal Register on Thursday.
"This is a gift to all New Yorkers and to every visitor of New York harbor. Fort Jay and Castle Williams will no longer deteriorate, but will instead become part of our National Parks system so that future generations can learn about these forts as critical parts of our nation's history. I am absolutely thrilled that President Clinton designated these forts as national monuments to be enjoyed by New Yorkers and the nation for generations to come. Now that we have accomplished the first step of the development plan, I am eager to work with Congress and President Bush to pass legislation to implement the final steps of the plan and complete this project as soon as possible."
"We have accomplished this important first step because of the continued efforts of our Senators, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nadler, and the strong bipartisan support of many others in the Congressional delegation. I look forward to working together with this coalition to complete the transfer of Governors Island to New York and finish the development plan."
It has been 201 years since New York transferred Governors Island to the Federal government at no cost. Finally, the process has begun to return the island to New York.
Reps. Maloney and Nadler have spearheaded efforts to declare the two forts on Governors Island, Fort Jay and Castle Williams, National Monuments. By finally turning these forts over to the National Park Service, Presidents Clinton and Bush have taken the first step to implement the development plan for Governors Island and ensure the preservation of these historic forts for many more generations of New Yorkers. These actions will create momentum for bipartisan legislation that will be introduced later this month to complete the redevelopment plan by transferring the remainder of Governors Island to New York and begin the process of transforming the island into a diverse public attraction open to all Americans.