Bill seeks a new special designation for Great Dismal Swamp

North Carolina

The Dismal Swamp (Photo courtesy: U.S. Army, Andria Allmond)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Virginia congressman has introduced a bill that would designate the Great Dismal Swamp a National Heritage Area, which could bring federal funding for historic preservation.

The Virginian-Pilot reports U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin has filed the measure, which is backed by a collaborative that includes local Native American tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association for the Study of African American Life & History.

The swamp, already recognized as a National Wildlife Refuge, served for centuries as a safe-haven for thousands of Native Americans and Black people escaping slavery.

“When you think about the folks seeking their freedom, they were made of sterner stuff than I am,” McEachin told the newspaper. “We need to make sure we preserve the swamp for future generations … for tourism purposes, for archaeological study, for the reintroduction of wildlife.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service calls the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge “the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LKQD Outstream

Trending Stories

news-app-download-apple-350x50news-app-download-android-350x50