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Research plans include mapping and assessing the current site conditions of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror wrecks

April 28, 2022                                Gatineau, Quebec                  Parks Canada Agency

The discovery of the Franklin Expedition wrecks tells a compelling story about the past. Research and conservation work at the sites also help us understand the present day impacts of climate change on sensitive marine environments.

Today, Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced that, following a two-year postponement due to pandemic precautions, Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team (UAT) will return to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site to conduct important archaeological work related to the exploration and conservation of these fabled ships.

This month, the UAT travels to the wrecks where it will deploy its state-of-the-art remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to carry out under-the-ice inspections of the sites and the surrounding sea floor. The ROV dives will be carried out with the logistical support of Inuit Guardians, who help integrate Inuit knowledge into the protection and monitoring of site operations. Dives will record and map the sites and allow the archaeologists to assess the condition of the wrecks.

During a second expedition planned for later this summer, the UAT plans to undertake a series of dives at HMS Erebus to continue the exploration, documentation and excavation of the site. As well, the UAT expects to continue archaeological diving research at the wreck of HMS Terror, including additional interior ROV recording. Planned research will also be conducted in collaboration with the Inuit Guardians. 

In supporting the 2022 research season, the Government of Canada is delivering on the second year of a four-year commitment made in Budget 2021 to accelerate archaeological and conservation work at the Franklin Expedition sites.

Parks Canada will share further information about the UAT’s summer research activities at the wreck sites as the 2022 season progresses and details are confirmed. 

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