What do historic shipwrecks, archaeological resources, whaling, and native cultures all have in common? They are all components of our maritime history. Maritime heritage includes not only physical resources such as historic shipwrecks and prehistoric archaeological sites, but also archival documents, oral histories, and the stories of indigenous cultures that have lived and used the ocean for centuries. Stewardship of our maritime heritage means preserving and protecting these important historical, cultural, and archaeological resources within our coastal, marine, and Great Lakes waters.
Maritime heritage is a way to connect all of us to the ocean, not just those living along the coast. Understanding our maritime heritage helps us explore the history of our country. Protecting maritime resources helps to preserve and further study our historic use of our nation's coastal and Great Lakes waters.