The ACUA and SHA have always worked together to advance the protection and preservation of cultural heritage both above and below the water. The recent possible discovery of ships from the wrecked French fleet of 1565 off the coast of Florida by a commercial treasure salvage firm, threatens a significant archaeological discovery.
Florida is one of the few states that still allows the exploration, salvage, and commercial exchange of underwater cultural heritage on its bottomlands. The treasure hunting company has applied for a salvage permit under that system. In response to this application the ACUA and SHA have written letters urging the Florida State Historic Preservation Office to deny the permit and instead support an effort to study the ships under the direction of professional archaeologists in keeping with the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage Annex Rules.
Both letters are provided here:
ACUA letter to Florida State Historic Preservation Office by Kimberly Faulk, Chair ACUA
SHA letter to Florida State Historic Preservation Office by Joe Joseph, President SHA