Monitor NMS is pleased to announce the launch of a new program, ANCHOR, Appreciating the Nation's Cultural Heritage and Ocean Resources. ANCHOR is a voluntary accreditation program developed to create an active partnership with commercial operators to educate their customers about the fragile resources, the purpose of the goals of the sanctuary, and diving and snorkeling etiquette individuals can use to make a difference. Shipwrecks are special places sensitive to damage that deserve protection. The ANCHOR program ensures divers are able to enjoy these resources in a manner that has the least impact by promoting responsible diving etiquette.
ANCHOR launched in June through collaboration with Roanoke Island Outfitters and Dive Center. Monitor staff supported an underwater archaeological training opportunity consisting of classroom training followed by a day of confined-water practical exercise. Participants who received certification were invited to participate as volunteers with NOAA divers in surveying the Triangle Wrecks, which are located near-shore off Nags Head, N.C. For more information on the ANCHOR program, contact Kara Fox.
NOAA and BOEM Collaborate
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) invited NOAA to collaborate via an Interagency Agreement on an archaeological survey near and within the Maryland Wind Energy Area (MD WEA). BOEM has issued a commercial wind energy lease offshore Maryland near and within the MD WEA, and needs baseline data for the areas in order to make sound decisions about how to minimize impacts, to form post-construction comparisons during monitoring of environmental changes that might be discernable later, and to meet its responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act.
From July 7-17, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) provided scientific and technical advice and services, shared resources and assisted BOEM with conducting and analyzing the resulting data. NOAA's SRVx Sand Tiger provided the platform for the expeditions. At the conclusion of the expedition, the SRVx Sand Tiger was open for public tours where researchers highlighted the work they had completed. For more information, contact Joe Hoyt at Joe Hoyt.
Mapping the Triangle Wrecks
Through a newly established program, ANCHOR (Appreciating the Nation's Cultural Heritage and Ocean Resources), Monitor NMS collaborated with Roanoke Island Outfitters and Dive Center to train recreational divers in the techniques in conducting an archaeological survey of a shipwreck. As follow-on to the training, NOAA divers will support them throughout the week (June 21-29) as they map the Triangle Wrecks located nearshore in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. The divers will work from about 10 am to 5 pm (weather permitting) and the public is welcomed to stop by and learn more. The tent is located at 2nd Street beach access in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., at milepost 7. For more information, contact Joe Hoyt at Joe Hoyt.
The latest addition to the Monitor Trail was recently installed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, N.Y., at the original site of the Continental Iron Works. The sign is the fourth to be installed as part of NOAA's Monitor Trail, which will eventually run from Beaufort, N.C. to New York, N.Y. The Monitor Trail identifies key locations and communities that are associated with the design, construction and history of the USS Monitor.
This newest sign describes the vital role that Continental Iron Works played in the construction of Monitor. The site is also the future home of the Greenpoint Monitor Museum. Three other Monitor Trail signs are located at the Richmond National Battlefield at Drewry's Bluff; the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, N.C.; and along the Noland Trail at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va.
Click here to read an article by the Greenpoint Star Weekly Northside News.
Monitor Team Discovers U-576 and Bluefields
NOAA announces that a team of researchers led by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II's Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the tanker Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII. Full press release. To learn more about the battle of the KS-520 and the discovery of the shipwrecks click here.
Monitor NMS Celebrates 40th Anniversary
On January 30, 1975, exactly 113 years since the launch of the USS Monitor, the historic shipwreck was designated as our nation's first national marine sanctuary. It all began in 1973, when a team of scientists from Duke University Marine Lab used sonar imaging to discover the long-lost resting place of the famous ironclad. Many wanted to safeguard the shipwreck, including North Carolina Congressman Walter B. Jones, Sr., who requested that the shipwreck be protected through a law that he had been instrumental in enacting: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. Then on September 26, 1974, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History formally nominated the USS Monitor to be designated as a sanctuary. And on January 30, 1975, the Monitor became officially our nation's first national marine sanctuary.
Although many thought of the 1972 sanctuary act as a means to protect our biological resources, it is fitting that the USS Monitor, who had been first in so many things, was our nation's first sanctuary. The ship is one of our country's most treasured maritime historical resources. And through this great ship, not only are stories of our maritime past revealed, but it also continues to connect us to our ocean and future. We hope that you will celebrate the 40th anniversary with us as we honor the USS Monitor, the sanctuaries program, and all who made it possible.
Click here for more information on the USS Monitor's history, discovery, and designation. Also, visit the Monitor's legacy site.
Graveyard of the Atlantic Report Published
North Carolina's shoreline from Currituck Sound to Cape Fear is a dramatic marine setting influenced by dynamic environmental change. With barrier islands that stretch along hundreds of miles of coastline, from 20 to 40 miles offshore, these islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. This report is an initial review of the complex, dynamic and fascinating maritime cultural landscape of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." To download a copy of the report click here.
Underwater Cultural Heritage Law Study
The protection and management of Underwater Cultural Heritage is a challenging topic, as it involves the interplay of U.S. statutes, maritime law, international law, and often complex issues regarding what law applies when and against whom it may be enforced. The Underwater Cultural Heritage Law Study is generated by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and NOAA to provide an analysis of existing laws protecting Underwater Cultural Heritage on the U.S. outer continental shelf, identify gaps and recommend legislative changes to address any gaps. To download a copy of the report click here.
Outer Banks Maritime Heritage Trail
Coastal North Carolina is an extraordinary place. Surrounded by water, the Outer Banks of North Carolina are a chain of narrow barrier islands separating the Currituck, Albemarle, and Pamlico Sounds from the Atlantic Ocean. This dynamic environment has shaped the islands and its people for centuries.
We invite you to visit the Outer Banks through a series of ten videos and seven oral histories that take you along Highway 12 to a series of iconic places that make the Outer Banks unique. From the lighthouses to the wildlife, to the shipwrecks offshore, the Outer Banks' rich maritime heritage, culture and surrounding marine environment are reflected.
Click here for the Outer Banks Trail website. And teachers, check out the accompanying activity guide for students in our teacher section.
Experience the Monitor Center at The Mariners' Museum through the LIVE Web Cam.