I recently attended the Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar, a training session hosted by the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research. The goal of the program is to train dive leaders from around the state, from dive shops, and teachers about the value of submerged cultural heritage. Seminar organizers included Dr. Della Scott-Ireton (FPAN), who talked about the value of underwater sites and provided an overview of sites that have been destroyed by mismanagement, looting, and treasure hunting; Jeff Moates (FPAN), who provided a detailed history of the maritime lanscape around Tampa Bay; and Franklin Price (BAR) who provided an in-depth discussion of the laws and regulations established to protect underwater archaeological sites. The seminar was hosted at the Cortez Maritime Museum in the historic fishing community of Cortez. Located near Bradenton Beach, this small community has fought to preserve its strong fishing traditions and the sound of air nailers repairing stone crab pots resounded through the neighborhood as we walked around. On Saturday we dived the USS Narcissus, an army tug that sank on New Years Day in 1866 during a storm. The tug’s boiler blew up and killed 29 out of 30 crewmen. It was one of the bloodiest ship losses suffered by the US Navy during the period of the Civil War. The Narcissus had taken part in the battle of Mobile Bay and had hit one of the ‘damned’ torpedoes that Adm. Farragut so vehemently despised. Click on this into to see pictures from the trip!