Efforts are now underway to save one of the region's most beloved historical tourist attractions.

Texas' "tall ship", the Elissa, was barged from her home on the Galveston Ship Channel to dry dock in Texas City earlier this month. The 1877 vessel is undergoing a $1.5 million restoration effort that will return her to seaworthy condition.

The Elissa stopped sailing in January 2011 after an inspection found that her hull was nearly eaten through in certain places, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle

Officials discovered the problem in late 2010 during a routine inspection. It was traced to an electrical cable torn loose from the dock during Hurricane Ike in September 2008. The power source in the water so close to the Elissa speeded up a natural process called electrolysis, which eats away at the hull.

Once the electrolysis exposes the iron, bacteria accelerate the process. Apparently, Hurricane Ike stirred up bacteria from the bottom of the channel and created a sort of rich soup that allowed the bacteria to flourish and feast on the iron hull.

According to the Chronicle, officials from the Seaport Museum and its parent, the Galveston Historical Foundation, laid out the evidence to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA officials were convinced and gave the museum $1.4 million to repair the hull.

A spokesman for the museum says the repairs to the Elissa should be complete before year-end, at which time she will return to Galveston. The museum hopes to begin taking passengers out on sailing trips aboard the Elissa once again in early 2013.