Ernestina~Morrissey Serving the Public Again!

SEMA has been getting questions about how Ernestina~Morrissey will be used when she returns. Massachusetts Maritime Academy will be operating the vessel for the citizens of

2013 Ernestina looked great with her gleaming new foremast

Massachusetts and there WILL be public programming.  The Legislature passed and the Governor signed an Act into law last summer that sets the course for Ernestina~Morrissey’s future.

When Ernestina~Morrissey begins the next stage of her life at Massachusetts Maritima Academy she will have a wide-ranging mission defined by the 2020 Act to Preserve the Schooner Ernestina~Morrissey. This Act establishes a governor-appointed advisory board to replace the Commission.  The Act states “The Massachusetts Maritime Academy shall collaborate with the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey advisory board, the city of New Bedford, the Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford, Inc. and other interested stakeholders to ensure the vessel is made available to local public-school children and residents of the city of New Bedford to learn the history of the vessel and concepts of seamanship and marine technology. “

In addition to training MMA cadets, Ernestina~Morrissey will “participate in tourism activities” and offer programs for the public.  VADM Fran McDonald, President of Massachusetts Maritime Academy spoke at the National Maritime Historical Society 2020 Annual Award Ceremony and stated that Ernestina-Morrissey will “continue to serve as an educational platform for Middle and High School students….and will continue her role as an ambassador for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Nation”

The Academy website states “Massachusetts Maritime Academy will focus the efforts of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey on undergraduate sail-training and leadership training for cadets, K-12 STEM programming, and community outreach and awareness within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond. These three pillars will look to ensure the legacy of Ernestina-Morrissey as an educational asset for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”  To begin their efforts to continue Ernestina~Morrissey’s legacy the Academy tasked Jill Hughes to review and compile all the vessel’s public programming records from her operations since 1982. Jill reported her findings to the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Advisory Board (SEMAB) at their February meeting. SEMAB has also established an Education Committee. The SEMAB meetings are public, are always posted in the SEMA Updates and you can find the schedule anytime under Upcoming Events on SEMA”s website.  The next meeting is Friday, May 21, 2021. The agenda isn’t posted yet but check back closer to the date and plan to attend!