Submerged Heritage Preserves Program
Look for this navigation buoy
to start your underwater adventure
Submerged Heritage Preserves are historic shipwrecks and other submerged archaeological resources marked by a round mooring buoy, which provides access to the site, and a barrel-shaped navigation buoy.
Lake George's Submerged Heritage Preserves opened to divers in 1993, with two preserves - "The Sunken Fleet of 1758" and a motor launch shipwreck site called "The Forward." In 1995, a third preserve, the "Land Tortoise - A 1758 Floating Gun Battery," opened. In 1997, a 23-foot-long colonial bateau was submerged at "The Sunken Fleet of 1758" preserve to enhance the site for scuba divers. In 1997-1998, "The Forward" preserve, now sometimes referred to as "The Forward Underwater Classroom," was enhanced by the addition of several stations enabling divers to learn about the ecology of the lake.
Rules and Regulations for Submerged Heritage Preserves Sites
New York State and federal laws make these resources the shared cultural and historic legacy and property of the people of New York. These laws help preserve this heritage so that future generations can enjoy and learn it.
The radeau (French for raft) was to
serve as a floating artillery platform
(Thomas Davies drawing 1759)
Please take nothing but photographs. Removing artifacts or damaging resources is forbidden by law and deprives others of the opportunity to view and study them. Removing artifacts or damaging shipwrecks, trail lines, signage or buoys in the preserve system may also jeopardize continuation of the Submerged Heritage Preserve sites. These shipwrecks are fragile; please do not touch them.
If you observe a violation, please report it to authorities by dialing 911, cellular phone*911. All violations will be investigated and violators prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The following books and DVD are suggested to increase divers' awareness of Lake George's underwater world and promote stewardship of the lake's finite resources.
Abbass, D.K. and Joseph W. Zarzynski. The Radeau Land Tortoise-North America's Oldest Intact Warship. Wilton, New York: M-Z Information, 1993.
Bellico, Russell P. Sails and Steam in the Mountains-A Maritime and Military History of Lake George and Lake Champlain. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 1992, 2001.
Parkman, Francis. Montcalm and Wolfe. New York: Atheneum, 1984.
Pepe Productions. The Lost Radeau: North America's Oldest Intact Warship. Glens Falls, New York: Pepe Productions, 2005 (DVD).
More about Submerged Heritage Preserves Program:
- The Forward Underwater Classroom - The motor launch Forward is reported to have been one the earliest gasoline-powered vessels on Lake George.
- The Land Tortoise Underwater Preserve Site - The Land Tortoise appears to be the sole survivor of a class of military vessels unique to Lake George and Lake Champlain in the eighteenth century.
- The Sunken 1758 Fleet - One type of warship used by Britain and France in the French and Indian War was the bateau (French for boat).