James McKay's 2nd Blockade Runner Found in River Near Downtown Tampa

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The Florida Aquarium's team of scientific divers led by principal investigator Underwater Archaeologist John William Morris.

Our research and conservations programs are dedicated to bringing these rich cultural moments in Tampa's maritime history to light and further enhance people's understanding of this great city and region of Florida.

Who: The Florida Aquarium's team of scientific divers led by principal investigator Underwater Archaeologist John William Morris.

What: Following last Summer's first Confederate Blockade Runner ever found in Florida, the elusive Scottish Chief, McKay's second boat, is found in Hillsborough River near Blake High School.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Marjorie Park Marina on Davis Island at 97 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606 - see (map) Media will depart at 9:45 a.m. on Tampa Police Department boats for a 15 minute ride up the Hillsborough River to this location (map). Divers will be in the river 25 to 30 yards from the sea wall.

Why: The Florida Aquarium's research and conservation programs are dedicated to improving our environment and uncovering the buried Tampa cultural resources that lie scattered throughout the Bay Area waters. This is the third Civil War era shipwreck discovered by The Florida Aquarium in as many years and James McKay's partner ship to the Kate Dale which was discovered last summer by this same team.

"While Tampa's role in the Civil War may have been minor," says John William Morris. "It was a colorful and fascinating time in the early development of Tampa's history. James McKay was certainly the father of Tampa's maritime industry and his ships were the focal point of the skirmish at Ballast Point, Tampa's only battle of the Civil War."

The program's goal is a three-part project that encompasses the search and discovery of what lies at the bottom of our local waterways, building an educational curriculum around the discoveries and using the data collected to create shipwreck exhibits at The Florida Aquarium.

"The Florida Aquarium is more than a great destination for residents and tourists to the area," says Thom Stork, president and CEO of the Aquarium. "Our research and conservations programs are dedicated to bringing these rich cultural moments in Tampa's maritime history to light and further enhance people's understanding of this great city and region of Florida."

Media Notes:

Historical Marker: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=4228

Available for interviews:
John William Morris, Principal Investigator and Underwater Archaeologist
Casey Coy, Director of Dive Operations and Project Manager
Michael Terrell, Dive Training Officer
Tom Wagner, Public Relations Manager

Press Material and historic background materials on CD available.

Underwater Video B-roll available upon request (DVD Video 16X9 format) http://moreinfo.flaquarium.org/MarketingWebFolder/Public/Media/

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