Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

John Gifford

Second Committee Member

Michael J. Beach

Third Committee Member

Charles F. Lawson

Fourth Committee Member

Maria L. Estevanez


His Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Fowey (BISC-UW-20,8DA11948) was an 18th century British fifth-rate Man-of-War built in 1744, which sank in the Legare Anchorage, in Biscayne National Park, in 1748. Almost two and a half centuries following her sinking, HMS Fowey would gain public attention as the subject of a precedent-setting legal battle and would be caught in the path of destruction of several hurricanes. This submerged site is archaeologically significant, as it is one of a few remaining warships that could provide opportunities to understand the Royal Navy of the pre-Revolutionary war era. Like all submerged sites, HMS Fowey is a non-renewable resource and is vulnerable to destruction. Since its discovery, the National Park Service has conducted numerous studies on the site, including a number of comprehensive studies on seagrass and the possibility of fostering regrowth as a means of site stabilization. However, site stabilization through the use of sea grass is not a viable cultural resource management option as will be discussed in detail. Currently, it seems that the best method of protecting the site for the long-term would be through reburial. If this method is eventually used on the site of HMS Fowey, and found to offer the required protection, it will represent an important case study in similar future management situations.


HMS Fowey; Biscayne National Park; Legare Anchorage; Submerged Cultural Resources