Did you know that a World War II battle took place in the waters off the coast of North Carolina? Most people don’t. The remains of 80 vessels from that combat could be protected and preserved with the expansion of the boundaries of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.
Why Monitor Expansion Matters
Designated in 1975, the Monitor site is the resting place of the famous Civil War ironclad. But just beyond those boundaries are other nationally significant military shipwrecks including American, British, Russian, German and other nations’ vessels destroyed during WWII’s Battle of the Atlantic, all of which have little or no legal protection.
Expansion of the Monitor site, currently under consideration by NOAA, would change that. Support comes from veterans groups, historians, archaeologists, divers, the preservation community, the general public and the Monitor’s own advisory council. The first stage of that consideration process was completed. The public commented on four potential alternatives recommended by the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. NOAA is currently reviewing these comments to develop the draft expansion plan.
Where We Stand
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation endorses expansion of the Monitor NMS and supported its community’s work. The proposal will ensure preservation of these at-risk historic shipwrecks and raise awareness of their importance through heritage tourism, research and education.The Foundation is committed to strengthening and expanding marine sanctuaries and works with local coalitions to bolster their efforts and advocate on their behalf to policymakers.