Today as you explore the beaches of Cape Hatteras, keep in mind that, if you come across a shipwreck or wooden piece, it is a protected resource. The National Park Service protects the beach shipwrecks on park grounds through the Archeological Resource Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470ee). The North Carolina State Archeology Office protects endangered archaeological sites within the waters of North Carolina through enforcement of the North Carolina Archaeological Resources Protection Act (G.S. 70, article 2) and the "Abandoned Shipwreck Law" (G.S. 121, article 3).
Did You Know?
The U.S.S. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras during a storm in December 1862. The wreck's location was a mystery until 1973 when a research vessel found the ship 16 miles off the cape in 230 feet of water. In 1975, the Monitor was named the nation’s first National Marine Sanctuary.