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Shipwreck Photo Contest

NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary invites photographers to submit photos that celebrate North Carolina's rich and diverse maritime heritage during its inaugural shipwreck photography competition.

The free Shipwreck Photo Competition begins May 1 and runs through November 1, 2016. Photographers are invited to send their best photos of any North Carolina shipwreck or other maritime heritage resource above or below North Carolina's waters.

Click here to learn more and for contest details.

Mapping of F.W. Abrams

NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary's maritime archaeologists teamed up with volunteer divers from the Battle of the Atlantic Research Expedition Group (BAREG) to map and survey the World War II oil tanker, F.W. Abrams. BAREG is an educational, non-profit organization located near Washington D.C., that focuses on historical research related to maritime campaigns associated with World War I and World War II. To learn more about the F.W. Abrams, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of Bill Chadwell and Eric Brooks, BAREG

Volunteer of the Year

Stuart Katz

Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is pleased to announce that Stuart Katz was named Monitor National Marine Sanctuary's Volunteer of the Year! Stuart's dedication and commitment to preserving the USS Monitor and our nation's cultural resources and maritime heritage exemplifies the very best in the National Marine Sanctuary Program. His dedication makes him an excellent ambassador for our program and the work we do every day to make a difference in the preservation of maritime heritage resources. Each site within the sanctuary program selects a Volunteer of the Year, and a winner will be announced on June 7 during Capitol Hill Ocean Week in Washington, D.C.

Monitor E-Notes Now Available


The spring edition of Monitor E-Notes is now ready for your reading enjoyment. Learn about the upcoming Get Into Your Sanctuary days at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Harborfest, Pridefest, and all our other outreach events. In this edition, meet Tane Caserley, our Research Coordinator. And although the Monitor is 16 miles offshore, discover ten ways to get into your sanctuary. Click here to read all about it.

To make sure you don't miss an issue, join our mailing list by sending an email to Monitor Mailing List.

Mapping the Monitor

Faced with the challenge of creating the first detailed and accurate site plan of the USS Monitor, this August NOAA divers turned to photogrammetry, a 3D digital method of making measurements from photographs. While diving on the wreck, NOAA divers used still cameras to take high quality photos of the Monitor. Then, using special software, these images were combined to create a 3D model that can be manipulated and used to make precise measurements. This represents a huge leap forward from the previous sonar images, videos and photomosaics that have been used to study the shipwreck.

Monitor researchers had a bonus treat: amazing visibility! On the day of the expedition, the NOAA divers were able to see up to 100 feet-an almost unheard of clarity for this site. As a result, we now have some of the best images we've ever captured of the USS Monitor. Click here to read more about the expedition and to see the images and 3D model.

ANCHOR Program Launches

ANCHOR poster

Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is pleased to announce the launch of a new program, ANCHOR, Appreciating the Nation's Cultural Heritage and Ocean Resources. ANCHOR is a voluntary program developed to create an active partnership with commercial dive operators to educate their customers about NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries, our nation's fragile maritime heritage resources, and diving and snorkeling etiquette that individuals can use to make a difference. The ANCHOR program's goals are for divers to enjoy our maritime heritage resources in a manner that has the least impact by promoting responsible diving etiquette. Click here for more information on ANCHOR.

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.

Graveyard of the Atlantic Report Published

cover of the reportNorth 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.

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