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Maryland provides funding for local tall ship

Maryland is launching a new public-private partnership with the Pride of Baltimore II, using the schooner to promote economic development opportunities for the state.

Gov. Larry Hogan said that with new funding, Pride of Baltimore II will expand its economic development activity in the state, around the country and in other nations.

Launched in 1988, Pride of Baltimore II is a topsail schooner that is a replica of the Baltimore clippers that were built in the city more than 200 years ago — fast, sleek vessels that were integral parts of the city and state’s commerce for many years.

“Pride of Baltimore is a wonderful symbol of the rich maritime heritage of both our state and the city of Baltimore, and the ship generates extremely valuable exposure and goodwill wherever she goes,” Hogan said in a statement. “We are pleased to have a new partnership with the Pride and to have her help carry our message across the state, nation, and globe — that Maryland is open for business.”

Under a new agreement, the state will commit $1.5 million to Pride of Baltimore Inc., the nonprofit that owns and operates the Pride, during the next three years. The organization will use the funds to underwrite the Pride’s activities and expand its focus on selling Maryland as a strong economic market.

Pride’s mission has been to promote historical maritime education, foster economic development and tourism and represent the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world,” said Rick Scott, executive director of Pride of Baltimore Inc.

“We are thrilled to have a new partnership with Maryland and we will be working closely with the Maryland departments of Transportation and Commerce to promote economic development here.”