Kerry Legislation Would Help Protect Historic Site of R.M.S. Titanic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced legislation recently that would amend the R.M.S. Titanic Maritime Memorial Act of 1986 to protect the wreck site of the Titanic from salvage and intrusive research.
“We’re closing in on one hundred years this month since the tragic sinking of the Titanic that has captured the interest and imagination of people worldwide. I think it’s important to remember that this site on the floor of the Atlantic is a place where so many went to their deaths. It’s hallowed ground, not just some underwater area to be poked at or damaged for commercial reasons,” said Sen. Kerry. “This bill provides the authority necessary to help ensure the site of the Titanic is kept intact.”
One hundred years ago this April 15th, the R.M.S. Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. Shortly after the Titanic was discovered in 1985, Congress enacted the R.M.S. Titanic Maritime Memorial Act of 1986. The 1986 Act specifically directed the Secretary of State to negotiate an international agreement to designate the Titanic an international maritime memorial and for research, exploration, and salvage of the Titanic to be consistent with relevant guidelines.
The R.M.S. Titanic Maritime Memorial Preservation Act of 2012 (S. 2279) would:
- Amend the 1986 Act by providing the Department of Commerce with the authority to protect the Titanic wreck site from salvage and intrusive research;
- Provide authority to monitor and enforce specific scientific rules to protect the public’s interest in the wreck site and collection;
- Propose the establishment of a Titanic Advisory Council, modeled on advisory councils that have been established under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.
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