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Maritime Heritage Collection

Below are a series of short videos about important shipwreck sites in the Gulf of Mexico that are being nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The videos are the result of a study that developed best practices for identifying potentially significant sites (e.g. shipwrecks) to be nominated for listing on the NRHP. This study supports the preservation of important cultural resources which is a vital part of BOEM stewardship mission.

BOEM Introduction: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) manage the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy, mineral, and geological resources. BOEM and BSEE are also responsible for protecting the biological, natural, and cultural resources in U.S. waters. In the Gulf of Mexico, these resources include historic shipwrecks with some of the best documented sites described in this web resource.

Shipwreck 15377: First identified in 2005 then confirmed as a shipwreck in a 2009 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle survey in partnership with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, this wreck most likely sank between 1840 and 1850. The wreck may be the remains of a packet ship, a type of vessel originally chartered to carry mail packets, but also served to transport immigrants during the time of sail.

Steam Ship New York: The steam ship New York, built in 1837, sank off the coast of Galveston, TX in 1846. New York had departed Galveston and was headed to New Orleans, but within two days of departure the ship ran into a storm and ultimately succumbed to the hurricane force winds and waves. Treasure hunters found the shipwreck in 1990.

Viosca Knoll Shipwreck: The 'Viosca Knoll' wreck was discovered in 2003 in approximately 2,000 feet of water, due south of Mobile Bay, Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel, probably a fishing schooner, likely sank in the late 19th century.

7,000 Foot Shipwreck: The 7,000 Foot Wreck is one of two identified fishing schooners preserved in the deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Originally discovered in 1986, the shipwreck rests on the bottom in more than 7,000 feet of water and is one of the deepest shipwrecks investigated by BOEM to date.

Ewing Bank Shipwreck: This wreck was discovered in 2006 in the Ewing Bank lease area, which gave it its name. The wreck is devoid of most artifacts commonly associated with a shipwreck, but it is believed that this vessel contributed to the late 19th-century Gulf of Mexico economy by hauling commodities like fertilizer.

Green Lantern Shipwreck: Originally discovered in 1996, the Green Lantern wreck is one of two identified fishing schooners found to date in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. It was named for the copper or brass lantern, now appearing with a green patina, that was located near the ship’s stern.

Mica Shipwreck: A copper-sheathed, wooden-hulled ship was found in more than 2,500 feet of water off the mouth of the Mississippi River in 2001. The wreck, believed to be a schooner, may have been built around 1825 and represents one of the most common types of sailing vessel used in the Gulf of Mexico.

Monterrey A Shipwreck: The remains of a 19th century wooden-hulled, copper-sheathed sailing ship that sank in more than 4,000 feet of water was discovered almost 200 miles off the coast of Texas in 2011. This vessel carried at least 5 cannons and crates of muskets. Its mission remains a mystery today. Was it a pirate, a privateer, a military ship, or a heavily defended merchant vessel? 

Monterrey B Shipwreck: The Monterrey B wreck was found in 2012 not too far away from the Monterrey A wreck. This sailing ship sank with a cargo of hides and large, white blocks of an unidentified substance. These blocks could be tallow (fat from cattle) used for making candles, a tree sap called copal, used in making varnish, or even natural rubber. Pottery found on the wreck hints that the ship may have visited a port in Mexico.

Monterrey C Shipwreck: Monterrey C is the largest of the three Monterrey shipwrecks that were lost near each other, probably during the same storm. This wreck’s hull showed substantial damage indicating that it may have violently hit the seafloor when it sank.