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PROPOSED LEGISLATION GIVES NOAA THE LEAD ON PROTECTING RMS TITANIC
WRECK SITE

Image of the bow of Titanic photographed in June 2004, by the ROV Hercules during an expedition returning to the shipwreck of the Titanic. Please credit NOAA / Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island or NOAA/IFE/URI.July 25, 2007 — The Department of State, on July 24, 2007, transmitted to Congress proposed legislation to implement an international agreement with the United Kingdom, Canada and France that will lead to increased protection of the RMS Titanic and its wreck site. Concerted action by the four nations most closely associated with the Titanic would effectively foreclose financing for, and the technical ability to conduct, unregulated salvage and other potentially harmful activities. (Click image for larger view of the bow of Titanic photographed in June 2004, by the ROV Hercules during an expedition returning to the shipwreck of the Titanic. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit NOAA / Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island or NOAA/IFE/URI.)

Image of a telemotor, the last piece of machinery remaining on the bridge of Titanic, as photographed by ROV Hercules deployed from the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. Please credit NOAA / Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island or NOAA/IFE/URI.If enacted, this legislation will implement the agreement called for by Congress in the RMS Titanic Maritime Memorial Act of 1986 (Titanic Memorial Act). Consistent with the Titanic Memorial Act and with the Ocean Action Plan of the current Administration, the agreement and legislation will designate the RMS Titanic wreck site as an international maritime memorial to those who lost their lives in its tragic sinking and whose graves should be given appropriate respect. They will put in place several other important measures to protect the scientific, cultural and historical significance of the wreck site. (Click image for larger view of a telemotor, the last piece of machinery remaining on the bridge of Titanic, as photographed by ROV Hercules deployed from the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit NOAA / Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island or NOAA/IFE/URI.)


Image of the ROV Hercules investigating the stern of Titanic during a 2004 expedition, as photographed by its underwater partner, ROV Argus, both of which were deployed from the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. Please credit NOAA / Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island or NOAA/IFE/URI.The United States signed the agreement in 2004 subject to acceptance following the enactment of implementing legislation. Once this legislation is signed into law, the United States can deposit its acceptance and the Agreement will become effective for the U.S. Under the legislation NOAA will lead in regulating dives to the Titanic shipwreck for the United States.(Click image for larger view of the ROV Hercules investigating the stern of Titanic during a 2004 expedition, as photographed by its underwater partner, ROV Argus, both of which were deployed from the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit NOAA / Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island or NOAA/IFE/URI.)

Although RMS Titanic sank 95 years ago and rests 12,000 feet below sea level, it continues to capture the interest of our nation and the attention of people around the globe. By enacting this legislation and becoming a party to the agreement, the United States will become a leader in the international community in protecting perhaps the most important shipwreck in history, in accordance with the most current standards of underwater scientific, historic and cultural resource protection, conservation and management.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration — RMS Titanic Expedition 2004

"RETURN TO TITANIC" MEETS SCIENCE OBJECTIVES, REMINDS ALL THAT WRECK SITE IS HALLOWED GROUND Expedition Ends Just Prior to U.S. Signing of Titanic Agreement

NOAA EXPLORES THE WRECK OF THE TITANIC

Media Contact:
Scott Smullen, NOAA, (202) 482-6090