Coastal Survey Project

Research Design (Synopsis)

The Oregon State archaeological records contain various levels of information regarding shipwreck sites. The Maritime Archaeological Society (MAS) has developed a category scheme in which site data fall into one of four categories.

  • Category I sites are those known to the organization (MAS), but no site report information exists in the online database.
  • Category II sites are found in the online database and include a position (latitude/longitude), vessel name (if known), and the estimated year the ship was sunk (if known).
  • Category III sites include the information from Category II reports, but also contain additional information such as photos or excerpts from reference material.
  • Category IV sites are those that are fully documented within the limits of current technology, environment, and federal and state laws concerning site disturbance.

The goal of the Oregon Coastal Survey Project is to provide Category III or IV information for all shipwreck sites in the Oregon site database and all known sites not currently in the database. The scale of such a task requires an incremental approach, and MAS will first examine wrecks along the North Coast including the lower Columbia River and the coast down as far south as Tillamook Bay/Garibaldi. Even this small subset of Oregon state waters will take years to examine fully.

Coastal Survey Research Projects

T.J. Potter


Silvia de Grasse

Here’s a quick video with the highlights of our first ROV field test in the Columbia River on 07/15/2016. Silvia de Grasse was a lumber schooner that sank in Astoria in 1849.


Peter Iredale

Sometimes it is fun to do site reconnaissance for a future survey. Check out this YouTube video from the Peter Iredale on 05/22/2016.