Resource Collection

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries staff study, interpret, and protect shipwrecks as places to explore, discover, and appreciate our country's maritime legacy. Shipwrecks are a key aspect in understanding the maritime heritage of the United States and can help us learn more about our past. These shipwrecks not only help Americans learn more about our country's past, but provide education, tourism, and recreational opportunities as well.

Diver looking at the camera while next to a shipwreck


Learn more about shipwrecks that are protected by our sanctuary system, the history behind them, and our blue heritage. Explore these resources to learn about NOAA's efforts to treasure these national artifacts for future generations.

Two experts looking at a computer screen

Lesson Plans & Activities

The national marine sanctuaries' engaging lesson plans and activities allow students to understand the ecological and historical importance of shipwrecks in America's underwater treasures and how they came to be through critical thinking exercises, games, and other activities.

A diver touching the engine of a shipwreck


Learn more about shipwrecks through our webinar series where experts discuss maritime archeology, conservation of shipwreck sites, the USS Monitor, and much more.

Shipwreck with some sharks around it


Take a virtual dive into the underwater world of shipwrecks through a curated video collection of various shipwrecks in the U.S. and learn about the history of shipwrecks in the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Inside of a shipwreck

Virtual Reality

Bring these shipwreck sites to life through our virtual reality videos and photos. Learn about the discovery of these wrecks and get a 360° view of Shipwreck Alley in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and of the Schooner St. Peter in Lake Ontario.

Shipwreck propeller at the bottom of the ocean

Shipwrecks Elementary Collection

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System, the best of the best educational materials for an elementary school audience have been compiled in collaboration with the National Park Trust. This collection focuses on shipwrecks.

Yellow specie inhabiting a coral reef

Significant Shipwrecks

Have a specific shipwreck in mind or want to learn more about significant shipwrecks across the country? Check out the this shipwreck link for resources on several of the outstanding shipwrecks

One person canooing in the lake

Posters & Printed Materials

Utilize this collection of shipwreck themed posters, interactive maps, and other resources, including dive slates and brochures.

Species on top of a coral reef

Web Stories

National marine sanctuaries are home to coral communities across the United States and territories. Explore more about the reefs that inhabit the sanctuary system through our catalog of web stories from new discoveries in the world of coral, important research, coral bleaching, and reef damage.

Single person kayaking in clear water

Shipwreck Recreational Opportunities

National marine sanctuaries work to protect marine ecosystems, preserve natural resources, and offer extraordinary recreational opportunities. Many of the sanctuaries allow you to dive, snorkel, and kayak up close to these unique shipwrecks. Learn more about how you can get out into your sanctuary to see some of these famous wrecks in person.

diver photographing a wreck in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Dive into Your Sanctuaries

Immerse yourself in the beauty of your national marine sanctuaries. Sanctuary waters are filled with unique ecosystems, including kelp forests. Discover a sense of wonder as you glide through a towering forest of giant kelp. This exciting dive opportunity awaits you in many of your national marine sanctuaries!

Shipwreck engine at the bottom of the ocean

Additional Materials

Do you want even more about these historical treasures? Look here for past research, expeditions, and other shipwrecks.