Dan Lieb, President of the NJ Historical Divers’ Association (NJHDA), will discuss his organization’s archeological explorations of shipwrecks off the New Jersey coast at 6 p.m. Monday, March 24, at Brookdale Community College’s Lincroft Campus. The meeting, open to the public, includes members of the BCC Environmental Club and other students, the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Sierra Group, and the NJ Friends of Clearwater.
The Divers’ Association follows accepted archeological standards and practices to map and photograph shipwrecks primarily off the Jersey coast. There are about 5,000 known shipwrecks off the Jersey coastline, but only about 500 have been documented.
The “L”-shaped configuration of the New Jersey and Long Island coastlines, and the narrow entrance to the Raritan and Hudson Rivers, plus the strong on-shore winds of hurricanes and northeasters, made sailing such a perilous undertaking even into the early 20th Century that the Jersey coast was once called the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
In 1992, a group of scuba divers met informally to discuss the possibility of investigating New Jersey’s many shipwrecks and began lecturing and exhibiting their shipwreck artifacts in 1994. The Divers’ Association was formalized in 1995 to preserve New Jersey’s shipwreck and maritime history; to research and record the many unknown, lost and misnamed shipwrecks, as well as other potentially historically significant sites; and to document their findings and present them to the public.
The Association and its shipwreck artifacts are located at the InfoAge Science Museum on the former Marconi/Camp Evans site in Wall Township.
Lieb also is the director of the Sunken Locomotives Project for the New Jersey Museum of Transportation, a nonprofit educational organization that took legal possession in 2004 of two 1850s railroad steam locomotives found in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Branch.
Lieb’s presentation is hosted by Brookdale’s Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental protections. At the Lincroft meeting, a pizza and subs buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
The meeting takes place in the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) Rooms 1 and 2.