Photo of fish hiding under a wreck.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Maritime Heritage

Pieces of pottery, shipwrecks, old coins, glassware. These are a few examples of maritime heritage or cultural resources you might encounter beneath the waters of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Within the sanctuary, there are many opportunities for divers and snorkelers to explore the underwater treasures of the past. However, like other resources in the sanctuary, cultural resources are protected and should not be disturbed or removed without a sanctuary permit.

To be considered a maritime heritage resource, an object must be greater than 50 years old and have some type of historical, cultural, archaeological, or paleontological significance. Maritime heritage resources come from a broad historical range, from the native peoples, to Spanish explorers and the European Colonial Period, to the Modern Era. Maritime heritage resources hold important clues to our nation’s past.