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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Protecting Maritime Heritage

I received this e-mail a couple of weeks ago. It is about including legislation protecting maritime heritage in the National Ocean Policy initiative.

As you are aware the National Ocean Policy (NOP) initiative is still in its early stages.  Dave Ball and I both attended meetings this week in Washington state and Galveston, TX.  The public comment period is ending on July 2 (this Saturday), and at this time there still has not been a strong voice from the archaeological sector.

Bill Lees and Marc-Andre signed a joint letter this past weekend to NOC promoting the beliefs/concerns of both SHA and ACUA.  I am attaching a copy of that letter here, along with some notes that Dave compiled on the different action items proposed for the draft policy. [I did not receive this attachment]

The overriding issue with the current strategic action plans (SAP) is that maritime heritage is only mentioned in one of the nine action plans (the arctic), and the coordination efforts for all of the SAPs ignores the UNESCO Annex as best practice and the track record of BOEMRE, NPS, and NOAA’s interagency cooperation over the years.

You can find out more about and comment on the proposed SAPs here:; I would strongly encourage each of you to register your comments on line (as you can), and to pass this on to others who may contribute.  If we want to have a voice in the creation of a coherent national ocean policy, now is the time to register our concerns and our knowledge.

One of the better things that came out of the meeting I attended was the ability to connect with one of the newly appointed members of the regional group for the Gulf Coast.  We will need, as this moves forward, to identify the members of this initiative on the regional level and make ourselves available for questions and assistance. 

For better or worse this policy will impact all activities in and on the oceans, gulfs, and Great Lakes in the US.  Whether we choose to view this policy as archaeologists, fishermen, or homeowners the reality is that this policy will impact each of us.  If we want to have a say in how submerged cultural sites are treated in the future now is the time to comment.

Kimberly Faulk, MA
Marine Archaeologist
Vice Chair, Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology

Take a minute and love your heritage and your moana!!

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Maritime Culture by Whitney Rose Petrey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License