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Underwater Historic Preserves

Two divers on the descent line

All underwater historic sites in Lake Champlain belong in public trust to the people of the respective states in whose water they lie. The States of Vermont and New York have established the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve to provide public access for divers to some of the Lake's historic shipwrecks. The system is designed to protect these irreplaceable historic resources both from anchor damage and artifact collecting. With the cooperation of the recreational diving community these wrecks will be available for generations of divers to enjoy.

Lake Champlain's Historic Preserve system works and succeeds only with your cooperation. The protection of historic shipwrecks and safety of other divers is your responsibility.

Divers who witness violations of the preserve diving guidelines are asked to voluntarily report them to the Vermont State Police Marine Division (802) 655-3435 and the New York State Police (518) 962-8235.

Register to Dive Historic Lake ChamplainAccess to the sites in the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve is free of charge, but divers must register annually prior to using the Preserve System. Divers are no longer required to register for sensitive shipwreck sites; one annual registration is adequate. Now Register Online! or contact the locations listed below.

Shipwreck Sites

 

Preserve Rules

Removal of Artifacts is Forbidden By Law
Artifact removal or damage to the site is a violation of trust as well as law, and violators will be prosecuted. Violators also jeopardize the continuing existence of the Preserve system. Take nothing but photos and memories.

Penetration of Wrecks is Not Permitted
Penetration greatly increases the risk of a diving accident and also damages the fragile wooden vessels. Soft silt in the hull can quickly turn the visibility from clear to zero. Exhausted air bubbles can lift and damage fragile deck planking.

Avoid Contact
Practice good buoyancy control. Even casual contact, such as brushes with fin tips, leaves scrape marks on these wooden shipwrecks. Give fragile elements generous clearance. Secure all dangling equipment, such as gauges.

How To Dive A Site

Diving Suggestions

Each diver recognizes that diving is an inherently dangerous activity, and each diver must assess all conditions and use their best judgment in planning and executing the dive. Divers assume responsibility for their actions while diving on the UHP sites and assume the risk of injury.

Diving Activity Can Spread Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussel
Zebra Mussel.

The small, non-native zebra mussel was discovered in Lake Champlain in 1993. These prolific sharp shelled mollusks can cover and damage historic shipwrecks and cause severe ecological damage.

Transporting Zebra Mussels is Illegal. Between dives in different water bodies submerge all equipment in hot tap water (110°F or hotter) for at least 10 minutes. For more information contact the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation at (802) 241-3777 or the Lake Champlain Basin Program at 1-800-468-5227.

 

Registration

Seasonal registration is required for every diver prior to using the Preserve System. Registration and information can be obtained from the locations listed below or through most local dive facilities and charter operators. Registration need only be done once during the season. We ask for your cooperation in this effort.

Now Register Online!

or contact:

Burlington Community Boat House, Burlington, Vermont (802) 865-3377
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, Vermont (802) 475-2022

Mooring Systems

Mooring system #1Mooring system #2

 

All information on this web site is available in the form of a booklet. For more information about Lake Champlain's Underwater Historic Preserves, or to make comments or suggestions you can contact the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at (802) 475-2022, info@lcmm.org OR:

Vermont logoVT Division for Historic Preservation
National Life Building, Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501
(802) 828-3051
http://www.historicvermont.org/

Please Register Annually to dive the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve system.