Research Abstract

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The United States of America (U.S.) Navy’s Construction Battalion called ‘Seabees’ were born in January 1942 from the demand for a unique set of both engineering and combat skills: “We Build, We Fight” (Hammer, 1947). The Seabees were instrumental in the Pacific theater, and played a significant role in rebuilding Guam. Known as the Seabee Junkyard due to the dumping of Seabee materials and equipment after the war, the site located within Apra Harbor, Guam is a popular dive site amongst local and visiting divers. Research on the significance of the site has revealed that it also represented the rapid demobilization of U.S. Navy after World War II (WWII). In July 2012, the University of Guam conducted a Nautical Archaeology Society maritime archaeology training course funded by the Guam Preservation Trust, which resulted in the material identification and surveying of the site. Further site investigations have taken a holistic and locally inclusive approach to the management and interpretation of the site. This includes non-disturbance wreck diving and underwater cultural heritage education in association with developing site preservation strategies, and compilation of a nomination to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Additional activities in promoting the site and educating the diving public will include underwater dive guides, development of a comprehensive site plan and an underwater cultural heritage trail. Engagement with various government agencies and community groups are being implemented to gauge their various levels of interest and assistance in managing and interpreting the site. Baseline environmental assessment surveys are to be conducted to determine the differences in natural communities with significant man-made substrates and those without.

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