Site Management and Development

The management plan recognizes the Maple Leaf as a nationally important and irreplaceable cultural resource. It is the responsibility of the federal and state governments, and Saint Johns Archaeological Expeditions, Inc. to manage the site for the benefit of the public trust. As caretakers of this resource, all agencies involved must consider long term management goals that benefit the site. The Maple Leaf is a large and complex site that requires substantial funding over many years to fully document. At the present time there is no funding source in place to complete the investigation. As a result, management goals are open ended with emphasis placed on the establishment of a non-profit foundation that will generate research monies and direct site management. This must include archaeological investigation, artifact conservation, historical research, and timely publication of findings for public and professional audiences.

East Carolina University Program in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology agreed to help provide assistance to establish a management plan and direct field research for three years. This involvement is based on a tentative three year funding commitment from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historic Resources, Special Category Grant. An important part of the plan is a research design that includes mapping and documenting the vessel structure and excavating part of the forward hold over a three year period. The result will be a baseline study that provides substantial site documentation and will guide future archaeological investigations.