Alabama Senate Bill 81 alters the current
Alabama Underwater Cultural Resources Act

Another attempt is in the works to make it easier for underwater cultural resources in Alabama to be looted, collected, and/or sold. Nearly identical to last year's House Bill 104, Alabama Senate Bill 81 alters the current Alabama Underwater Cultural Resources Act by changing the definition of "cultural resources" to only items related to shipwrecks. The bill removes protection from all other sites in Alabama waters, including Native American sites, human burials, forts, historic sites, and others. If it isn't a shipwreck, it isn't protected under the proposed law.

Letters from Alabama Trust members last spring and summer were instrumental in the defeat HB 104. Members are encouraged to make another stand for protection of the thousands of artifacts and remnants of sites and other cultural resources, both known and undiscovered, that currently belong to everyone. The new legislative session begins on February 7. Please call or write the members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee (linked below) and tell them that SB 81 is a bad idea because it promotes the unscientific collection of cultural resources from state waters for the personal gain of individuals. The full text of SB 81 can be read at the link below. For more information, contact Ashley Dumas at adumas@uwa.edu.

Alabama SB 81 2012 document

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resource document