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Battleship Texas To Leave San Jacinto Battleground Berth

State lawmakers have sent a bill to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk that would let a non-profit take over preserving the historic ship.


The Battleship Texas, docked on Buffalo Bayou near La Porte.

Plans are for the retired Battleship Texas to weigh anchor and sail away from its longtime berth at the San Jacinto Battleground.

Bruce Bramlett, of the Battleship Texas Foundation, said the 107-year-old veteran of both world wars will be moved permanently after the end of the year from the slip that’s been its berth for 70 years. Bramlett said the ship isn’t seeing enough paid visitors to pay for its aging maintenance.

The recent session of the Legislature unanimously approved a measure to provide $35 million to repair the leaky battleship before it’s moved.

The bill calls for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to enter into a "memorandum of understanding" with a non-profit to operate and maintain the ship.

"The Battleship Texas Foundation will be the appropriate nonprofit partner and will submit a preservation plan to the Legislative Budget Board for their consideration and approval," the department said in a statement. "That plan will also dictate the Foundation's wishes for the ship's ultimate berth location after repairs are made."

Bramlett said the legislation, which awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature, doesn’t specify a new home site. But Rep. John Cyrier of Lockhart, one of the bill’s sponsors, has suggested Galveston as a new home.

The battleship's current home is a state historic site. The parks department is waiting to see if the measure approved by the Legislature becomes law. Steve Lightfoot, a department spokesperson, said there are no plans for the vessel until then.

"There's a lot of discussion that's going to be had," he said. "I don't know if any formal conversations about a plan can even take place until that time."

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