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NJHDA Hosts NOAA Maritime Heritage Program Director / 2013-08-29

NJHDA Hosts NOAA Maritime Heritage Program Director at the New Jersey Shipwreck Museum at InfoAge
James P. Delgado, Ph.D.
On Thursday, August 29th, NJHDA will host  an evening with James Delgado, Director of NOAA's Maritime Heritage ProgramNOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) has set up the program in order to protect certain submerged cultural resources within United States waters.

"I'm a fairly recent addition to NOAA after 20 years working outside of government, including several years with Clive Cussler hunting for significant wrecks." said Delgado.

In recent years, sport divers have had concerns that access to many wrecks would be restricted by the federal government. Sport fishermen, have voiced similar concerns. Jim Delgado's recent work on the shipwreck site of the "Robert J. Walker" reminded him of this. He has taken steps to smooth the relationship between NOAA and the public it serves. "I do not want to send the wrong message. We want to establish a different, and new relationship with wreck divers and the "Walker" is a good opportunity to do that by not making it a sanctuary and cooperating and working with everyone to make it a better, more interesting dive. The commitment from NOAA is to encourage diving and without any permits required to dive or recreationally fish the site." said Delgado. "I'm hoping that any chance to work positively with you is not lost," he added.

Jim wants divers to be able to visit this site, which has special meaning to him and his fellow employees in NOAA. He will explain this to all of those who attend the August 29th meeting in the New Jersey Shipwreck Museum at InfoAge Science Center. The museum is located at 2201 Marconi Road, Wall, NJ.

While he insists that divers no longer recover artifacts from this historically significant wreck site, he encourages divers that have already recovered some lend artifacts to a display he'd like to see established in an area museum.

Jim will also share some of the recent work that he's been involved with, including the 2010 mapping of the Titanic site, the detailed sonar mapping of the wreck of the USS Hatteras,
Documenting a deep sea wreck. Photo courtesy of  Ocean Exploration Trust/Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
a Civil War combat loss, and the recent deep sea expedition that recovered artifacts and documented an early 19th century wreck and discovered and documented two others in the Gulf of Mexico, which some may have watched online as the expedition was broadcast live 24 hours a day while it took place.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to learn more about what this part of our government does to serve the us," said NJHDA President Dan Lieb. "I welcome all area divers and fishermen to attend this meeting to meet Jim Delgado and hear what he has to say," he added.
The event is free-of-charge, but donations to the shipwreck museum are always welcome. The presentation starts at 8 PMand should run until 10 PM. Space is limited, so an RSVP is suggested. Please contact the shipwreck museum to make your RSVP by clicking here.
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