Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is best known for a windblown flag that waved above it on September 13, 1814.
That's when Francis Scott Key, held captive on a British ship in Baltimore Harbor penned the words to the Star Spangled Banner.
Those same winds nearly 200 years later will one day bring energy to the Atlantic coast with the launch of the Department of the Interior's Smart from the Start Wind Initiative.
Secretary Salazar: "The Smart from the Start wind initiative will help us identify priority areas up and down the Atlantic Coast for appropriate wind development, and it will shorten the amount of time it takes to permit offshore wind projects.
Under this initiative, we believe we will be able to issue additional offshore wind leases in 2011 and 2012.
The Smart from the Start Wind Initiative builds on the lessons that we have learned from the Cape Wind leasing process. Just a few weeks ago, I was proud to sign the lease for Cape Wind , the first-ever offshore wind farm to be proposed for in the United States."
The inspiration for fast-tracking wind development came from Interior's successes on land with solar energy. New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland will have a very important role.
Governor O'Malley: "You know the defenders of Fort McHenry who defended America's freedom here almost 200 years ago, were part of a battle that took only a couple of days.
The battle for a cleaner, greener energy future is going to take more than a couple of days.
It will take relentless follow-up and it's also going to take leadership.
And we're so very, very glad in Maryland that we have a president in President Obama, and a secretary in you Secretary Salazar, sir, who has not forgotten how important this is, and what an important part America's cleaner, greener energy future Atlantic offshore wind can be."
The ‘Smart from the Start' Initiative for Atlantic wind will identify priority Wind Energy Areas for potential development and improve Interior's coordination with local, state, and federal partners, allowing for speed and reliability.
Senator Coons: "If you think about the history of this site, about what originally created the opportunities for growth here in the city of Baltimore, it was the trade winds.
The trade winds that were harnessed by the merchants of Europe to bring trade here.
And it was the speed and the reliability of those winds in those centuries that blew merchant ships and opportunity here into Maryland.
It is my hope that working together, we can provide a new environment, a new opportunity which as you've heard from the speakers before, the Governor and the Senator, created an opportunity for us here today now, going forward."
In January 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement will initiate a National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment to evaluate the potential impacts associated with sitintg activities.
Ron Tull, Department of the Interior, Baltimore.