ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — The U.S. House has approved measure that would allow for expansion of the Fort Frederica National Monument on the Georgia coast.

Georgia’s founder, Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe, established Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island in 1736. It’s now a national monument site operated by the National Park Service.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House approved a bill by Republican U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia that would allow the monument to expand from 250 acres to 305 acres.

The National Park Service want to expand the site in an attempt to find both a colonial-era campground on the northern end of the property and a cannon battery from the same era on the southern end of the monument, The News of Brunswick reported ( ).

The expansion, if approved by the Senate, would allow Fort Frederica to accept 21 acres owned by the St. Simons Land Trust. The trust bought the land for $3.5 million in 2007 for the purpose of donating it the Park Service.

“We have evidence to show that on our northern boundary of Fort Frederica National Monument that there were colonial garden plots for the town of Frederica,” said Steve Theus, site manager for Fort Frederica. “When the legislation is signed into law, we will be able to tell a more complete story of this incredible site.”

Carter initially sought to allow Fort Frederica to expand to 525 acres. But a House committee reduced the maximum acreage after lawmakers heard concerns from nearby landowners.

Still, Carter praised passage of his bill for bringing the Park Service “one step closer to preserving Fort Frederica’s legacy.”

Information from: The Brunswick News,