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our maritime and cultural heritage

Sanctuary Supports Youth Maritime Heritage Documentation Project

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary staff assisted a Keys high school student in a year-long project to document 160 anchors, cannons and maritime artifacts along a 200-mile stretch of the U.S. Route 1 highway, creating possibly the most comprehensive report of topside maritime artifacts in the Florida Keys. The resulting catalog of roadside artifacts provides an opportunity for visitors to appreciate the Keys’ rich maritime history while highlighting the importance of maritime heritage conservation.

Jim Delgado and students

Project Shiphunt Connects Students, Scientists, Shipwrecks

In May, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary teamed up with Sony and Intel Corp. on Project Shiphunt, an expedition that teamed up five students from Saginaw, Mich., with researchers from NOAA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in a search for new shipwrecks. Using cutting-edge technologies, the team surveyed 45 square miles of Lake Huron and discovered two historic shipwrecks, which they documented using 3-D video. A production team chronicled the project in a documentary, which has received global media attention. Thunder Bay sanctuary staff are developing education materials and exhibits around the expedition to inspire students to explore science, technology, engineering and math. Click here for more information.

Learning about Natural Resources from a Historical Perspective

A new, interactive, Web-based “Historical Marine Ecology Timeline” was launched in 2011, interweaving human and natural histories of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary region over time. The tool provides details and images of significant events that have occurred from 1500 C.E. to the present. By clicking on an event, users can access more information, including historic photos, newspaper accounts and ships’ logs of reported ecological activities and fisheries. It is a fascinating new way to explore the ocean’s bounty from a historical perspective. Visit the timeline online.link leaves government website

Queen Anne’s Revenge Archaeological Recovery

Partnering with North Carolina’s Department of Cultural Resources, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary assisted in the recovery of a cannon from one of the oldest known shipwreck sites in North Carolina waters — believed to be the remains of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge. Since 1997, recovery at Queen Anne’s Revenge has been a major initiative of the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology branch, with the goal of completing excavation by 2013. Monitor sanctuary staff have collaborated on this effort since 2010. This accomplishment is an extension of the successful ongoing partnership between the sanctuary and the state of North Carolina.

Photo of the battle of the atlantic around 1942

Battle of the Atlantic 2011 Expedition

In 2011, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary conducted a series of complex maritime archaeological surveys off the coast of North Carolina in search of sites associated with WWII’s Battle of the Atlantic. This project represents the largest maritime archaeology survey ever conducted off the North Carolina coast, covering more than 275 square miles of seabed using AUVs and multibeam surveys. Over the course of the survey, sanctuary staff and partners identified and documented 47 potential targets of interest, which may represent new archeological finds. In addition, the sanctuary team surveyed 17 known wreck sites using technical diving, ROVs and remote sensing.

Maritime Heritage Staff Excavate Civil War-Era Wreck off Bermuda

ONMS Maritime Heritage Program staff traveled to Bermuda in June 2011 to conduct an emergency archaeological excavation of the storm-exposed bow of the 1864 steamer Mary Celestia. The steamer, built as a blockade runner for Confederate interests, ran between Bermuda and Wilmington, N.C., for a year before it was lost on a reef. Among the artifacts rescued by the excavation were a crate of intact wine bottles and the ship’s speedometer — the first complete instrument of its type recovered from an archaeological site. Funded in part by the Waitt Institute, this international collaboration assisted Bermuda in the protection of this important wreck and garnered significant media attention.

Photo of an event taking place at the thunder bay maritime heritage festival

Annual Festival Celebrates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage

The 11th annual Thunder Bay Maritime Festival in July enhanced public awareness of sanctuary resources and fostered appreciation of the regional maritime landscape. Thousands of visitors toured the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, listened to live maritime music, feasted on local whitefish, kayaked the river, cheered on the feats of cardboard boat regatta teams, toured research vessels, built boats big and small, and piloted remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The festival is an ongoing partnership between the sanctuary and the local business community to encourage maritime heritage tourism; it takes place every Fourth of July.

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