Recently, while searching through some archival material that we secured a number of years ago, I came across an interesting article from September, 1966. It appeared in the official publication of the Florida Secretary of State called In The Capital and was written by then Secretary of State, Tom Adams. “Are We Selling History For A Handful Of Coins?” deals with concerns that the state had regarding what was believed to be the commercial exploitation of Florida’s cultural heritage at that time. In short, it punctuates the ongoing controversy between archaeological preservation of historically significant shipwrecks and private salvaging of those historic wrecks. Ongoing efforts to strike a balance between these disparate positions continue to this day. It is hoped that with the advent of new technologies and the recognition of the historical value of these shipwrecks that a new era of cooperation between these old adversaries can be achieved. Only time will tell but, for now, the old argument continues.
Ben Costello, Director.