NHHC considers the issuance of an applicable permit under 32 CFR 767 to constitute a federal undertaking under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. In general, as part of the permit application evaluation process, the NHHC’s Underwater Archaeology Branch will provide information to the public on applicable proposals below and seek public input on those proposed undertakings. Input will be solicited over the course of 15 days in the case where an undertaking carries a “proposed no adverse effect to a historic property” determination, or 30 days in the case of an undertaking that carries a “proposed adverse effect to a historic property” determination. In either instance, comments may be submitted in writing by e-mailing NHHC_UnderwaterArchaeology@us.navy.mil.
Information regarding applications presently open for public comment are presented below.
APPLICATION NUMBER: (2022-01)
PROJECT TITLE: Row Galley Congress Excavation and Documentation (2022)
APPLICANT: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
LOCATION: Lake Champlain, VT
SUMMARY: The Applicants seek to document, study, and further interpret the archaeological remains of the row galley Congress, which was run aground after the Battle of Valcour Bay in 1776.
METHODOLOGY: The Applicants propose to fully excavate and document the extent of the wreck to study the naval architecture of a poorly understood class of Revolutionary War vessel type, row galley, and to recover select diagnostic artifacts for research, conservation, and public exhibit. The vessel’s remaining construction elements will be exposed through careful excavation by divers and aided by use of a hydraulic dredge. The remains of the vessel will be documented utilizing the common underwater archaeological techniques of direct measurement, triangulation, and off-sets (where needed) as well as through underwater photography, videography, and photogrammetry. The photo documentation and digital 3D models will document the excavation over the course of the project. Artifact identified for recovery will be mapped and documented in place before removal and kept wet for transfer to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Artifact Conservation Laboratory for analysis, conservation, and eventual display. Site remediation will involve reburial of exposed hull remains by purposeful back-filling of sediment and natural infilling. The excavation, documentation, and select recovery phase is planned to last three weeks in late summer 2022 and to involve a core research team of three underwater archaeologists, one historian, and one marketing director, along with interns and volunteers. Additional public and professional outreach initiatives form part of the proposed activity.
32 CFR 767 DETERMINATION: The NHHC has found that the proposed activity pertains to a sunken military craft under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy and falls within the scope of the 32 CFR 767 permitting program, intended to authorize disturbance of such craft for archaeological, historical, or educational purposes. All other permit requirements and considerations, including qualifications of the Principal Investigator and Proposed Budget, have been met.
PROPOSED SECTION 106 DETERMINATION: NHHC proposes that this activity constitutes a site characterization effort of an archaeological site potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places that does not rise to the level of constituting an adverse effect on the historic property.
PUBLIC COMMENTS ACCEPTED BETWEEN: (07/14/2022 – 07/28/2022)
PUBLIC COMMENT SUBMISSION METHOD: Please submit any comments to NHHC_UnderwaterArchaeology@us.navy.mil