Established in 1973, the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) is the sole trustee of the Commonwealth's underwater cultural heritage. Under Massachusetts General Laws, BUAR is charged with encouraging the discovery and reporting, as well as the preservation and protection, of underwater archaeological resources. These sites and objects represent a nonrenewable scientific resource—statements left by time to be preserved through their documentation for public study and benefit. While underwater archaeological resources are commonly shipwrecks (there are more than 3,000 shipwrecks within Massachusetts waters), they also include submerged Native American sites, wharves, and aircraft. The Commonwealth holds title to these resources and retains regulatory authority over their use. BUAR's jurisdiction extends over the inland and coastal waters of Massachusetts.

For more on BUAR and underwater archaeological resources, see: