How a Composite Board Became a National Icon for Coastal Protection
On April 29, 2015, an unmanned aircraft from the U.S. Coast Guard captured video of the wreck of the Grand Coulee, a ship that was sunk in 1878 off the coast of Louisiana.
The video, which was later posted online, went viral, garnering nearly $50,000 in donations to restore the ship and raise funds for the Grand Journeys Fund.
“This is a perfect example of how we can help people,” says Scott Osterman, a senior marine geologist with the U,S.
Geological Survey’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“The Grand Jours Fund is one of the most effective conservation programs in the world, and this is a really beautiful thing to see.
It’s so inspiring.”
The Grand Journes Fund’s video was the first of a series of public displays of the ship’s wreck.
Ostermann says the footage was important because it demonstrated that, if the ship were not sunk, it was likely that it would have been repaired.
“It’s important to know the full story about the shipwreck because it could help determine how to protect our coastal environments in the future,” Ostermans says.
In March of this year, Ostermen shared the footage with the Grand Jury in Washington, D.C., and he said the response was overwhelming.
“I’m so happy that so many people around the world were able to share the story and know that the Grand Jurys Fund was willing to help us,” Oterman says.
“To see that kind of reaction in the U!
Congress was amazing.”
The video sparked a flurry of interest in the Grand Voyages, and in March of next year, the Grand jury awarded a $250,000 reward to anyone who could identify the wreck.
The reward was then doubled to $500,000.
Otermann says that it’s hard to say exactly how many people responded to the video.
“We have no idea how many viewers came and shared the video,” he says.
Some people tweeted photos of the reward or posted their own video of a shipwreck.
“In the last few days, we’ve gotten a lot of tweets from people who saw the video, but it’s really hard to tell how many actually watched it,” Osterman says, adding that people have also shared their stories online.
The Grand Jury awarded the reward to the public, but there are also still several pieces of evidence that could help identify the ship.
The ship is built to withstand the stresses of ocean crossings and has a steel hull that was likely damaged by a hurricane, according to the UGS.
A portion of the bow has a small hole that could have been punched through the ship by a ship’s propeller during the wreck, the UCSD says.
There’s also a piece of rope hanging over the bow, which could be the ship that pulled the anchor and pulled the ship into the ocean.
Ostermans says the Grand jurors reward is a good start, but more work is needed to help identify which pieces of the story can be put together.
“Finding all the pieces of this story is really difficult, and that’s why I want to get the public involved,” he said.
“So many of the pieces are very hard to understand and to piece together, but we do know that we can identify a lot more information with these clues and with the public’s help.”