Proceedings from the 2015 Maritime Cultural Landscape Symposium

Park Cultural Landscapes Program

Updated Cultural Landscapes

“Maritime Cultural Landscapes are the product of collective human use of marine and coastal environments across time. Areas of geographic space become ‘places’ only when people give them meaning and value for the resources and qualities they possess,” James Delgado, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

View across Lake Superior towards Devils Island Light Station landscape at Apostle Islands National Seashore in Wisconsin. The Light Tower and Fog Signal building are surrounded by brush and forest vegetation. NPS Photo, 2010.
View of the Light Tower and Fog Signal Building at Devils Island Light Station.

The Maritime Cultural Landscape Symposium was held on October 14 and 15, 2015, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Organized by the National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office, the two-day symposium gathered representatives of government and tribal programs, scholars, and consultants to share information and discuss common interests in maritime cultural landscapes (MCLs). Maritime cultural landscapes are collections of submerged archaeological sites, or combinations of terrestrial and submerged sites that reflect the relationship between humans and the water (Ford, 2011).

The symposium addressed the identification and evaluation of MCLs with the goal of more effectively preserving and protecting maritime heritage resources. Presentations by subject experts included sessions on characterizing MCLs, MCLs in the National Register of Historic Places, case studies from across the country, non-submerged prehistoric maritime landscapes, protection and management of MCLs, legal considerations, and Native American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian landscapes.

Below are the links to the proceedings from the Maritime Cultural Landscape Symposium. Volume 1 of the symposium proceedings contains the presentation papers, while Volume 2 includes the presentation papers in addition to links to the forty recorded presentations and transcripts. The proceedings were compiled by the National Register of Historic Places program and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

  • Volume 1 Proceedings – Presentation Papers
  • Volume 2 Proceedings – Presentation Papers, Videos, and Transcripts
View across the water towards Salem Maritime National Historic Site with replica of the wooden ship Friendship docked. Source: NPS Photo, 2012.
Replica of the tall ship Friendship at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.







Works Consulted: Ford, Ben, editor. The Archeology of Maritime Landscapes. New York: Springer Publishing, 2011.

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