M4 Sherman Tank off Chalan Kanoa

  • In February 2012 under a newly funded grant, a team of researchers returned to Saipan. This field project included working with partner organisations such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the National Park Service's Submerged Cultural Resources Unit to collect 3D imagery of the trail sites. This imagery will be used to produce a 3D film about the Battle and the underwater heritage. The 15-18 minute interpretive film will be shown at American Memorial Park (Saipan) and War in the Pacific Park (Guam). The researchers also collected conservation survey data of the sites to assess their degradation and corrosion potentials. This research was conducted by two specialists from the Western Australia Museum. The data will help the island to develop plans for managing and preserving these sites into the future.
  • Posters and dive guides are now available for download here. 
  • Dr Jennifer McKinnon was awarded a CNMI Governor's Humanities Award for her work in developing the underwater heritage trail. In a statement, she thanked all of the individuals and agencies who assisted with the project.
  • The posters and guides are now on island. You can pick up your free copies at American Memorial Park, Historic Preservation Office, Coastal Resources Management Office 
  • The posters and underwater guides are almost finished! They have gone out for review by NPS and agencies in CNMI. They will be printed and available in June.
  • In June 2010 Flinders University ran a maritime archaeology field school in Saipan. It included ten students from Flinders University, Florida State University, Texas A&M University, and Sydney University and 10 supervisors, staff, and photographers. A total of 16 underwater sites were mapped and 22 kilometers of terrestrial survey was conducted. A big thank you to all that particpated!
  • The February 2010 field project was a huge success and invloved archaeologists, volunteers and students from Ships of Discovery, Flinders University, Heritage Victoria, Florida Public Archaeology Network, and University of Sydney. CNMI's Coastal Resources Management, Department for Environmental Quality and the Division of Historic Preservation provided staff and in kind support. In total 12 sites were archaeologically mapped.
  • Next Methods in Underwater Archaeology Training Course to be held on Saipan in December 2009 or February 2010. Check back soon for details. Expressions of interest in the training should be sent to Jennifer.McKinnon.
  • From 17-19 July 2009 Jennifer McKinnon and project staff held the first Methods in Underwater Archaeology Training Course on Saipan. The training was a huge success with participants from the CNMI Historic Preservation Office, Coastal Resources Management, CNMI Museum of History and Culture, Marianas Dive and members of the general public. In all twenty people participated in the training. 
  • From 12-28 July 2009, Jennifer McKinnon and project staff conducted initial site documentation. Preliminary results of investigation were presented on 13 August 2009 as part of the Flinders University Department of Archaeology Seminar Series for Semester 2.
  • Ships of Exploration and Discovery Research, in partnership with Flinders University are pleased to announce the receipt of $49,967 in grant funds for the development of an underwater maritime heritage trail in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. The American Battlefield Protection Program announces the awarding of 33 grants totaling $1,360,000 to assist in the preservation and protection of America’s historic battlefield lands. This year's grants provide funding at endangered battlefields from the King Philip's War (1675-1676), Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Second Seminole War, Mexican-American War, Civil War, World War II and various Indian Wars. The funds will support a variety of projects at battle sites in 23 states or territories.


Inclusion and Negotiation: Interpreting underwater Battlefield Sites for the Public

Bell, Samantha

I Can Ex-Plane: A Study of Site Formation of Submerged Aircraft in Saipan, CNMI (PDF 8MB)

Hanks, Matthew

Heritage Management Challenges and Resolutions: Submerged WWII M4 Sherman Tanks in Saipan, CNMI Part 1 (PDF 9MB) Part 2 (PDF 9MB)

Gauvin, Karolyn

Bringing the Intangible to Life: How Digital Media has Enabled Non-Divers and Audiences World-Wide Access to Submerged Cultrual Heritage Sites (PDF 2MB)

Pardee, Jeffery

A Site Formation Study of a Possible Submarine Chaser in Tanapag Lagoon, Saipan, CNMI (PDF 4MB)

Arnold, William S

Investigations in Invasion Innovation: The Archaeological and Historical Study of a WWII Landing Vehicle Tracked in Saipan (PDF 6MB)




Study of Saipan war relics planned (Saipan Tribune, 30 June 2009)

American Battlefield Protection Program 2009 Grant Awards

Project Funding Press Release_July 2009

NMI Should Tap Heritage Toursim Potential_Aug 2009

Maritime Heritage Trail Project needs more volunteers_July 2009