Monitor sanctuary in good health overall
The natural resources of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary off the North Carolina coast are in good condition overall, but the wreck of the Civil War ironclad encompassed by the site is at risk from human activity and natural deterioration, according to a new NOAA report.
The first-of-its-kind assessment of the sanctuary’s archaeological and living marine resources indicates that corrosion, strong currents, hurricanes, high water temperatures and highly salty water threaten the long-term stability of the Monitor wreck.
Discarded fishing gear, which can become entangled on the wreck, and other forms of marine debris also pose a danger to the historic site.
Although not a major problem currently, looting of the wreck, vessel anchoring, bottom trawling and other activities prohibited in sanctuary waters are of concern due to significant diving, boating and fishing activity in the area.