Diving into the PAST: public engagement with Florida’s historic shipwrecks

Author(s): Della Scott-Ireton; Nicole Grinnan

Year: 2017


Florida’s historic shipwrecks are a natural draw for divers from all over the United States and the world. Many are located in warm, clear water, and all are home to an amazing variety of aquatic life. Capitalizing on the popularity of shipwrecks with sport divers, the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research developed the Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve program of interpreting historic shipwrecks for divers and snorkelers. Now numbering twelve shipwrecks, these "museums in the sea" have proven popular heritage tourism destinations, and effective vehicles for promoting the preservation of submerged cultural sites. Recently, the Florida Public Archaeology Network developed the PAST (Public Archaeological Shipwreck Tours) diving program to add another layer to historic shipwreck visitation and preservation. Focusing on the Preserves and other significant historic shipwrecks, the PAST program incorporates a presentation on the shipwreck to better describe its history and archaeology, and then an archaeologist-led tour of the site. Reflections on this program include a discussion of the successes of initial PAST events, participant feedback, and plans for the future to enable more divers to "Dive into the PAST!"

Cite this Record

Diving into the PAST: public engagement with Florida’s historic shipwrecks. Della Scott-Ireton, Nicole Grinnan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429952)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15343