DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
H.L. Hunley Wreck Protection Agreement
Among The Department of the Navy, The General Services Administration, The
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, The South Carolina Hunley Commission,
And The South Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer Concerning Management
of the Wreck of the H.L. Hunley
A. The submarine H.L. Hunley ("Hunley") was lost off the
coast of Charleston, South Carolina, after successfully attacking the USS Housatonic
on February 17, 1864. This action was one of the most remarkable events in naval
history as it was the first example of a submarine successfully sinking a ship
in military action and was an accomplishment not achieved again until World War
I, approximately fifty years later.
B. The wreck of the Hunley reportedly has been found off the coast of
South Carolina and, because of its significance, may be the target of looters.
The Hunley is also a submerged war grave; thus, any human remains with
the vessel must be treated with dignity, respect, and honor.
C. Because of its significance to the history of the State of South Carolina and
the United States, the Hunley has been listed in the National Register of
Historic Places and is under consideration for designation as a National
Historic Landmark. The State of South Carolina has begun the development of
plans for the (1) archeological investigation and recovery of the vessel and its
artifacts; (2) conservation of the vessel and its artifacts; (3) respectful and
appropriate recovery, identification, and burial of human remains; (4)
exhibition and education with respect to the vessel and its artifacts; and (5)
overall financing of the Hunley project.
D. The United States Department of the Navy ("Navy"), represented by
the Naval Historical Center, is accountable for management of the Hunley
and its associated artifacts pursuant to the transfer of accountability for the Hunley
from the United States General Services Administration (GSA) to Navy under
Transfer Order, Excess Personal Property, dated July 13, 1995.
E. Management of the Hunley and its artifacts, including protection and
investigation, may have an effect on the wreck's historical integrity.
Therefore, Navy has consulted, pursuant to Section 800.13 of the regulations (36
CFR Part 800) implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
(16 U.S.C. 470f), with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
("Council"), the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer
("SHPO"), and the South Carolina Hunley Commission ("Hunley
F. Navy, GSA, the Council, the Hunley Commission, and the SHPO agree that the Hunley
shall be managed in accordance with the provisions of this agreement.
II. Purposes of This Agreement
A. Through this agreement, Navy and the Hunley Commission will ensure that the Hunley,
an important part of our Nation's history, is preserved responsibly and
displayed in the State of South Carolina in perpetuity.
B. This agreement also provides for protection of the Hunley and its
artifacts until this historic vessel is raised and preserved.
C. This agreement satisfies Navy's requirement under Section 106 of the National
Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) to take into account the effects of
any action it undertakes or approves with regard to the Hunley prior to
that undertaking. In accordance with regulations implementing the National
Historic Preservation Act (36 C.F.R. Part 800), the process set forth in this
agreement requires Navy to consult with the Council, the Hunley Commission, the
SHPO, and other interested parties.
III. Title and Custody
The United States of America shall retain title to the Hunley, and
the State of South Carolina shall have custody of the Hunley in
IV. Site Protection
A. The United States Coast Guard has established a regulated navigation area
within which the Hunley lies. Navy will provide additional security
measures, as Navy deems appropriate. Navy's current site security plan is
incorporated in this agreement.
B. Navy and the Hunley Commission shall restrict release of the coordinates of
the 's Hunley's location, as appropriate to protecting the site, but
shall not restrict access to the Hunley by representatives of State law
enforcement agencies or other agents of the State designated by the Hunley
C. As part of its protection of the site, Navy may, after consultation with the
Hunley Commission, develop an emergency rescue plan, which will be implemented
only in the event of imminent destruction and loss of the Hunley due to
D. Navy agrees to coordinate with other United States Government, State, and
local agencies to provide for a site protection and management plan. Navy and
the Hunley Commission consider general site protection and stabilization as
their primary objective until acceptable plans and funding are in place for an
archeological investigation and/or recovery of the Hunley and any human
remains with it.
E. Navy will reevaluate its plan for security six months from the date of
signing this agreement.
V. Establishment of Hunley Oversight Committee
Navy agrees to establish a Hunley Oversight Committee to provide guidance in
management of the Hunley. United States Government agencies that will be
invited to participate with Navy are the Department of the Interior, GSA, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Smithsonian Institution,
and the Council. This Committee will review and comment upon proposals for
archeological investigations as provided in Section VIII.
VI. State Management of the Hunley
A. The Hunley Commission, representing the State of South Carolina, and in
consultation with the SHPO, other appropriate state agencies, and the Hunley
Oversight Committee, agrees to assume responsibility for management of the Hunley
subject to the provisions in this agreement.
B. Navy agrees to assist the Hunley Commission in its management of the Hunley
as provided in this agreement.
VII. Public Participation in Preservation Issues
A. The Hunley Oversight Committee and the Hunley Commission will be responsible
for seeking the advice of professionals in the field of underwater archeology,
such as the Advisory Council on Underwater Archeology, and of other professional
disciplines as appropriate.
B. Navy, in consultation with the National Park Service and the Hunley
Commission, shall develop a list of organizations at the national, state, and
local levels that have an interest in the conduct of archeological
investigations of the Hunley. The organizations on this list will be
provided an opportunity to review and comment on proposals for archaeological
investigations as provided in Section VIII.
C. Any party to this Agreement shall advise other parties to this Agreement of
any public comments on the Agreement itself.
VIII. Review of Proposals for Archeological Investigation
A. Navy will publish a notice in the Federal Register concerning the
availability of this Programmatic Agreement and the opportunity for individuals
and organizations to submit proposals regarding the archeological investigation
of the Hunley. This notification shall include information concerning
deadlines for the submission of proposals that involve early phases of the
archeological investigation of the Hunley. Such deadlines will be
established in consultation with the Hunley Commission.
B. Any party expressing an interest in implementing any of the following aspects
of archeological investigation of the Hunley will be advised that it must
submit a comprehensive proposal to Navy that includes an overall financial plan:
(1) data recovery at the site;
(2) raising of the vessel;
(3) recovery and treatment of human remains;
(4) conservation and curation;
(5) public participation and education during the archeological investigation of
the Hunley; and
(6) future exhibition and interpretation.
The proposal must also include an abstract suitable for public distribution and
C. Navy will provide abstracts of all proposals to the organizations identified
pursuant to Section VI of this Programmatic Agreement. Upon request, Navy will
provide these organizations with copies of entire proposals, excluding site
D. Navy will provide all proposals and public comments received thereon to the
Hunley Oversight Committee, the Hunley Commission, and the SHPO for a 30-day
review period. The Hunley Oversight Committee, the Hunley Commission, and the
SHPO shall consider the public comments provided by Navy when formulating
recommendations to Navy regarding the suitability of proposals.
E. Navy and the Hunley Commission will consider the views of the Hunley
Oversight Committee and the SHPO when selecting a preferred proposal and
implementation- monitoring plan which will be submitted to GSA, the Council, and
the SHPO for review and approval.
(1) If Navy, GSA, the Council, the Hunley Commission, and the SHPO agree
concerning the appropriateness of the preferred proposal and monitoring plan,
Navy and the Hunley Commission will proceed to permit implementation of the
(2) If Navy, GSA, the Council, the Hunley Commission, and the SHPO cannot reach
agreement regarding the appropriateness of the preferred proposal, the dispute
will be resolved in accordance with Section XI of this agreement.
IX. Standards for Archeological Investigation and Curation
A. Archeological investigations of the Hunley shall be conducted in
accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for
Archaeology and Historic Preservation, 48 Fed. Reg. 44716 (Sep. 29, 1983). All
archeological work, including marine survey and underwater data recovery, will
be conducted under the direct field supervision of a person or persons meeting,
at a minimum, the following qualifications:
(1) Certification by the Society of Professional Archaeologists (SOPA) for the
execution of work in underwater archeology and/or historical archeology;
(2) Demonstrated familiarity with the techniques of marine survey, including
operation of remote sensing devices; standard diving operation practices
relevant to underwater archeological investigations; techniques of underwater
archeological excavation and recording; and interim conservation practices with
artifacts from marine environments.
B. Conservation and curation of the Hunley and its associated artifacts
shall be in accordance with Curation of Federally Owned and Administered
Archeological Collections (36 C.F.R. Part 79), including the execution of a
Memorandum of Understanding between Navy and the repository for the collection.
X. Location for Curation and Display
A. The most appropriate location for the stabilization, conservation, curation,
and exhibition of the Hunley and its artifacts is in the State of South
Carolina. The Hunley Commission, after consultation with Navy, the Council and
the SHPO, will recommend a location for the stabilization, conservation,
curation, and exhibition of the Hunley to the South Carolina General
Assembly for determination. During consultation with Navy on this matter, Navy
will determine whether the proposed curation facility meets the standards for
long term curatorial services required by 36 C.F.R. Section 79.9 and any other
B. The Hunley and its artifacts shall be lent in perpetuity to the proposed
curation facility/repository upon its execution of a GSA-approved, curation
agreement with the Navy pursuant to 36 C.F.R. Part 79.
C. If the curation facility/repository fails to abide by the terms of its
curation agreement, Navy shall notify the State of South Carolina and offer the
State an opportunity to select another facility within the State as a curation
facility/repository upon GSA approval and the execution of a curation agreement
with the Navy pursuant to 36 C.F.R. Part 79.
XI. Resolving Objections
A. If any party to this Programmatic Agreement objects to any action proposed,
attempted, or carried out with respect to data recovery at the site,
conservation techniques, the raising and restoration of the vessel, or the
curation of the vessel and its artifacts, Navy shall consult with the objecting
party to resolve the objection. If, after initiating such consultation, Navy
determines that the objection cannot be resolved through consultation, Navy will
forward all documentation relevant to the objection to the Council. Within 30
days of such request, the Council shall either:
(1) provide Navy with recommendations, which Navy will take into account in
reaching a final decision regarding the issue; or
(2) notify Navy that the Council will comment pursuant to 36 C.F.R. Section
800.6 (b) and proceed to comment. In accordance with 36 C.F.R. Section 800.6 (c)
(2) and Section 110 (1) of the National Historic Preservation Act, Navy shall
take the comments of the Advisory Council and the other parties into account in
rendering a final decision on the issue.
B. Any recommendation or comment provided by the Council will be understood to
pertain only to the subject of the objection. The provisions of this agreement
that are not the subject of the objection will remain unchanged.
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section XI (A), if any party to this
agreement objects to any action proposed, attempted, or carried out with respect
to the treatment of human remains from the Hunley, public participation
and education during recovery of the Hunley, or exhibition and presentation of
the Hunley, the Hunley Commission shall consult with the objecting party
to resolve the objection. If the objection cannot be resolved through
consultation, the Hunley Commission will take the views of the other parties
into account in rendering a final decision on the issue.
XII. Financial Management of the Hunley
A. The State of South Carolina will receive all receipts, royalties, and all
other revenue generated by the exhibition, display, curation, and all other
activities related to the Hunley unless otherwise regulated or prohibited
by the laws of the United States.
B. This agreement does not obligate Navy to commit funds to management of the Hunley
except as required for administrative duties under the agreement to the extent
that appropriated funds are available for this purpose and except as provided in
Section XII (C).
C. If either Navy or the State of South Carolina incurs costs related to the Hunley
without the express prior consent of the other party, the party incurring the
costs shall be solely liable for them.
XIII. Amendment and Termination
A. Any party to this agreement may request that it be amended, subject to the
limitations provided in Subsection D of this Section, whereupon the parties will
consult in accordance with 36 C.F.R. Section 800.13 to consider the proposed
B. Navy, GSA, the Council, the Hunley Commission, or the SHPO may terminate this
agreement, subject to the limitations provided in Subsection D of this Section,
by providing 30 days notice to the other signatories, provided that the
signatories will consult during the period prior to termination to seek
agreement or amendments or other actions that would avoid termination. In the
event of termination, Navy will comply with 36 C.F.R. Sections 800.4 through
800.6, with respect to individual undertakings covered by this agreement
C. Execution and implementation of this agreement evidences that Navy has
afforded the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on Navy's management of
the Hunley, and that Navy has taken into account the effects of its
management on this historic property.
D. The provisions of Sections III, X, and XI are not subject to amendment or
termination without the consent of all parties to this agreement.
XIV. Effective Date
This agreement shall become effective upon the date of the final signature.
The Department of the Navy
By: ___________________________ Date: _____________
William S. Dudley
Director of Naval History
The General Services Administration
By: ___________________________ Date: _____________
G. Martin Wagner
Associate Administrator for the
Office of Policy, Planning, and
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Robert D. Bush Date: _____________
The South Carolina Hunley Commission
By: ___________________________ Date: ______________
Glenn F. McConnell
The South Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer
By: ___________________________ Date: _______________
Director, South Carolina Department of
Archives and History