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2010 ECU Nearshore Expedition
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With turbulent seas, converging currents, and dangerous shorelines, the North Carolina coast along the Outer Banks has known more than its fair share of shipwrecks. Over time there have been
USS LST-471—Photo Courtesy of Naval Heritage Command
USS LST-471. (Photo Courtesy of Naval Heritage Command)
thousands of ships to run aground along this beautiful coastline. These sunken vessels help to tell the story of the rich maritime history and commerce of our country. From the earliest explorations, to early expansion of America in the 1800s, raging battles of WWII, and the evolution of modern day trade, these shipwrecks offer a glimpse into our nation's past. Each one has a unique story waiting to be told. In support of the continued exploration and discovery of sunken vessels, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary has collaborated with East Carolina University's Program in Maritime Studies to document and preserve some of these wonderful historical sites so as to better understand the stories they have to tell.

The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 marine protected areas created since 1975 when our nation made a commitment to preserving its marine treasures by establishing NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). ONMS serves as the trustee for the nation's system of marine protected areas, to conserve, protect, and enhance their biodiversity, ecological integrity and cultural legacy. As part of that system, the Monitor NMS protects the wreck of the famed Civil War ironclad, USS Monitor, which sank just 16 miles off of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

O'Keefe Site— Photos are Courtesy of ECU
O'Keefe Site. (Photo Courtesy of Courtesy of ECU)
As an integral part of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA's Maritime Heritage Program is committed to preserving historical, cultural and archaeological resources within the National Marine Sanctuaries. Its mission is to protect, promote and explore our maritime heritage through a national program embracing heritage resources in our evolving coastal, marine and Great Lakes stewardship. In support of this mission, the Monitor NMS sponsored with East Carolina University's Program in Maritime Studies to explore and document some of the many beach and near-shore shipwrecks found along the North Carolina coast.

Come join the students of the Program in Maritime Studies' summer field school as they learn about the shipwrecks of North Carolina. This summer marks an important milestone in ECU's summer field schools as this is the first time in many . This unique program has been developed to provide qualified students with a basic introduction to maritime history and the scientific methods and techniques employed in nautical archaeological research. Follow the students to learn how archaeologists work to unlock the secrets of these wrecks and to preserve their history.


East Carolina University
University of North Carolina Coast Studies Institute
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
National Park Service

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

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