Application of Environmental Legislation to Protect Underwater Cultural Heritage on the Outer Continental Shelf
Author(s): Lydia Barbash-Riley
Although the law has significantly improved protection for Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in state waters with the Abandoned Shipwreck Act, and in federally-designated sanctuaries under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, UCH, including Native American artifacts, outside of these areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is still at risk. As shipwrecks often integrate with the natural environment, thereby becoming artificial reefs and fish aggregating devices, existing environmental legislation merits examination as a strategy for in situ preservation of UCH on the OCS consistent with the National Environmental Policy and National Historic Preservation Acts. Specifically, incorporating shipwrecks and other significant UCH into a plan for artificial reefs under NOAA’s National Artificial Reef Plan could make activity on and around UCH subject to the NOAA and Army Corps of Engineers permitting requirements under this Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and perhaps other environmental regulations.
Cite this Record
Application of Environmental Legislation to Protect Underwater Cultural Heritage on the Outer Continental Shelf. Lydia Barbash-Riley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437284)
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