The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that it will provide more than $6.5 million in Fiscal 2002 funding from the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program to continue the Navy's salvage operation to recover the Civil War-Era USS Monitor's 120-ton turret and associated artifacts. DoD began funding the conservation effort in fiscal 2000 to assist in the recovery of valuable Monitor components while enhancing the Navy diving and salvage capability through operational training.
Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environment John Paul Woodley Jr. oversees the DoD Legacy Program that provides funds to the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) for selective recovery of portions of the Monitor. NAVSEA provides program management support through engineering services, diving oversight and coordination of fleet commands. The Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) TWO, based at Norfolk, serves as the Navy on scene commander. As of 2001, dive teams have recovered the ship's cast-iron propeller, propeller shaft, and engine. The goal of the 2002 expedition will be retrieval of the Monitor's turret that detached from the vessel when it sank 240 feet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, off Cape Hatteras, N.C. and came to rest under the ship's stern.
The federal government designated the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., ascustodian of the artifacts and archives of the Civil War ironclad, the USS Monitor, in 1987.
Woodley will visit the museum today to receive a tour of the conservation area and an overview of the Navy recovery efforts.
For more information, contact Justin Lyons at (757)591-7738 the Mariners' Museum.