2 lawmakers file bill to expand Fort Frederica

Bill would expand national monument to 305 acres

Fort Frederica National Monument (Courtesy National Park Service)
Fort Frederica National Monument (Courtesy National Park Service)

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Two Georgia lawmakers want the federal government to help expand and protect the Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island.

The Fort Frederica National Monument Boundary Expansion Act, introduced by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, and Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, would increase the maximum number of acres that may be included in the monument from 250 acres to 305 acres.

“Preserving the rich history and archaeological heritage of one of Georgia’s oldest landmarks will give visitors a chance to experience firsthand an area of the state founded by General James Oglethorpe,” Isakson said. “The legislation will also help provide an economic boost for Georgia’s tourism industry. I am proud to join the long list of federal, state and community leaders who support these efforts to preserve and protect Fort Frederica.”

Due to current statutory limits, legislation is required to expand the authorized boundary and remove the 250-acre ceiling established by Congress in 1958. Isakson and Carter’s bill would also allow the National Park Service to acquire, by donation or purchase, the land and interests within the monument only from those willing to sell additional land for inclusion.

Isakson and Carter previously introduced companion legislation for each of the expansion and protection measures. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the 114th Congress.

“I am pleased to reintroduce this legislation with Sen. Isakson to preserve Fort Frederica’s legacy,” said Carter. “Fort Frederica is a historic treasure and this expansion is critical to ensure the fort’s history is accessible for generations to come. The House unanimously passed this legislation last Congress and I am ready to work diligently in the 115th Congress to get it across the finish line and signed into law.”

The areas being assessed by the National Park Service for inclusion in the Fort Frederica National Monument are within the direct viewshed of the park, including the fort, King’s magazine, tabby ruins of soldiers’ barracks and other trails. The areas were once used by the British Town of Frederica founded in 1736 by Oglethorpe.

Based on archival data and a reconnaissance study, there is a high potential that the remains of a colonial cannon battery, Point Battery, exists within the southern area. The northern area is believed to have been used as a campground for troops in 1743.