The Interior Department said Thursday that it is sending tens of millions of dollars in historic preservation grants to help states preserve "our national heritage and history."
The announcement comes after President Trump tweeted that he considers the statues of Confederate war heroes taken down recently in Baltimore and other cities an affront to history.
Although the agency's announcement does not highlight the Confederate statues for preservation, nor does it discuss the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., that sparked the move to remove the statues, it does point out the need to help communities protect historic landmarks.
"These grants highlight the department's and the National Park Service's commitment to preserving our national history and heritage," said Deputy Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt. "Through valuable partnerships, we are able to help communities and protect the diverse historic places, culture and traditions unique to our country for future generations."
The agency gave some examples of the type of landmarks the funds would be used to protect, including the Tennessee Historical Commission's restoration of six historic outbuildings associated with Clover Bottom Plantation "including former slave cabins, a transverse crib horse barn, a carriage house and a poultry house."
Bernhardt made the statement in announcing $133,129 in Historic Preservation Grants for the District of Columbia. The announcement was part of a package of $21 million in grants, representing a total of $58 million awarded to every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and partnering nations, according to the agency.
The agency pointed out that the funding was derived from fees paid to the Interior Department from oil companies' offshore federal production leases.
"Funded at $80 million in 2017, the [historic preservation funding] does not use any tax dollars. It is supported solely by Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenues," the agency said in making the announcement.