NOAA proposes expanding site off Carolina coast

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018


During its meeting Friday, the North Carolina Maritime History Council received a report on the proposed boundary expansion of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

The presentation was made by one of the council members, William Sassorossi, a maritime archaeologist with the sanctuary and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and David Alberg, superintendent of the sanctuary. They reviewed proposed maps of the expanded boundary and sought input on the proposed expansion from the council.

NOAA publicly released its proposed expansion proposal Jan. 8, 2016. The public was able to comment on the proposal up to March 18 of that year.

RECOVERING HISTORY: The turret of the USS Monitor is recovered off the North Carolina coast Aug. 5, 2002. (NOAA)

“For more than 40 years, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary has honored the USS Monitor and the memory and service of her officers and crew,” said Alberg in a Jan. 8, 2016, news release. “The proposed expansion is the result of a collaborative public process and provides an opportunity for us to honor another generation of mariners who rose to the country’s defense when war erupted off America’s shores. Our goal is to protect these ships, these hallowed grave sites, and preserve the special stories they can tell about our maritime and cultural heritage.”

“After several years of scientific and archaeological assessment and in coordination with the public, NOAA is proposing to expand Monitor National Marine Sanctuary off North Carolina’s Outer Banks to include additional maritime heritage resources. The proposed expansion would protect a nationally significant collection of shipwrecks that currently have little or no legal protection, including one of America’s only World War II battlefields,” reads the MNMS website.

Situated just 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary protects the shipwreck of the famed Civil War ironclad, USS Monitor. The Monitor, while under tow to Beaufort sank during a storm on Dec. 31, 1862, and was not discovered until 1973. Today the sanctuary is managed by a staff of seven full-time employees through a combination of education, archaeology, marine science and regulatory programs. Staff members are located at offices in Newport News, Virginia.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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