The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), Hernando Past and Southeastern Archaeological Services invite the public to Bayport Park from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday to watch archaeologists, FPAN staff and volunteer divers record possible shipwrecks located during recent remote sensing surveys.
Bayport was the site of two brief engagements between Confederate land troops and Union blockading vessels during which several blockade runners were "scuttled,” or burned, on purpose by the Confederacy to keep them out of Union hands.
The archaeological remains of Civil War-era vessels associated with these events are reported to lie in the waters off Bayport.
Archaeologists are concerned about the preservation of the submerged cultural resources at Bayport and recently conducted a remote sensing survey in the hopes of relocating the archaeological remains of the blockade runners.
The blockade running vessels used in and around Bayport were designed to navigate the shallow waters of the central gulf coast; however, no documents exist that show how these vessels were built.
Archaeologists hope the archaeological remains, if located, will provide knowledge about this unique ship construction.