The leadership gift establishes Norfolk Southern as a Founding Partner of the Save Jamestown Campaign to protect America’s Birthplace from flooding and sea level rise.
Contact: Angel Johnston
RICHMOND, Va. (January 9, 2024) – Norfolk Southern Corporation has made a $1 million leadership gift kicking off the Save Jamestown campaign to preserve the site. Jamestown, the location of the first permanent English settlement in America and where encounters between multiple cultures laid the foundations of modern America’s richly diverse society, is under serious threat as land area is lost each year due to recurrent flooding and sea level rise.
The Save Jamestown campaign was launched to raise awareness of the destruction caused by rising waters and funds for the urgently needed infrastructure to protect the history yet to be uncovered. Norfolk Southern’s $1 million contribution provides a crucial start to the campaign, ensuring the continued preservation of Historic Jamestowne.
“The archaeological story of the people and events that planted the seeds of our American democracy is revealed every day at Historic Jamestowne. The future of this internationally significant site is threatened if actions are not taken to protect the archaeological resources,” said Preservation Virginia Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth S. Kostelny. “This incredibly generous gift from Norfolk Southern gives us the confidence to continue the work to Save Jamestown.”
Owned by the nonprofit Preservation Virginia since 1893, Jamestown is the site of the internationally-renowned archaeology program Jamestown Rediscovery, which has uncovered more than 4 million artifacts since it began in 1994. Jamestown is facing inundation by flooding from major storm events, sea level rise, and historic tides. Worsening environmental impacts are already restricting Jamestown’s ability to share the history of this important place with the public, upending normal operations and forcing the site to close more frequently each year because of flooding. Additionally, artifacts that have remained buried for hundreds, or even thousands, of years are at risk of disappearing in the rapidly changing environment. The future of the site—its historic landscape, archaeological discoveries, collection and exhibition spaces and educational programming—is in jeopardy.
“As a company deeply rooted in Virginia’s history and communities, we feel a strong responsibility to protect the historical legacy and environmental integrity of this region,” said Norfolk Southern Chief Sustainability Officer Josh Raglin. “Preserving this historically significant site is critical in the face of environmental challenges. Our support for the Save Jamestown campaign underscores our dedication to our communities and a better planet that we aim to safeguard for future generations.”
Funds from Norfolk Southern will support environmental and archaeological studies which must precede the anticipated design and construction of berms, floodgates, pumping stations and other measures to divert the rising water. In addition to its contribution to protect Historic Jamestowne, Norfolk Southern has also partnered with the Elizabeth River Project, a conservation nonprofit in Virginia, to develop a living shoreline to stabilize the eroding Elizabeth River shoreline near its Lambert’s Point marine terminal in Norfolk.
“The exponential impacts of the effects of climate change mean a good portion of Jamestown may be underwater in our lifetimes. The archaeological resources that exist here represent the earliest history of our nation and they will be lost without a significant effort to protect them,” said Dr. James Horn, President and Chief Officer of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation. “We’re delighted to receive the support of Norfolk Southern and hope it inspires others to give generously to help us Save Jamestown.”
More than 200,000 visitors come to Historic Jamestowne each year to witness the moment of discovery as archaeologists uncover artifacts from our shared past and explore The Nathalie P. & Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium. The site remains open to the public seven days a week unless impacted by a major storm or tidal event.
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About Preservation Virginia
Preservation Virginia is a private, nonprofit organization seeking to inspire and engage the public in fostering, supporting and sustaining Virginia’s historic places through leadership in advocacy, education, revitalization and stewardship. Learn more at preservationvirginia.org.
About Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation
The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, under the auspices of Preservation Virginia, preserves and shares the original site of James Fort and Jamestown, established in 1607. The Foundation is dedicated to uncovering, preserving, and sharing Jamestown’s diverse history, and highlighting its major contribution to the foundations of modern American society. For more information, please visit www.historicjamestowne.org.
About Norfolk Southern
Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid approximately 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and is the largest rail shipper of auto products and metals in North America. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S., serving a majority of the country’s population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting www.NorfolkSouthern.com.