In the springtime of 1975, a group of avocation and professional marine heritage enthusiasts were invited to conduct an underwater archaeological investigation of a newly discovered Naval Slip associated with the Naval and Military Establishments at Penetanguishene.

Following the completion of this project the group decided to stay together and in1976 they undertook a second field survey project, that of The Hope Island Wreck.

Later that year it was decided that these two projects were enough incentive for the participants to formalize their relationship. Consequently, in March of 1977 an organizational meeting was held in Midland, at St. Marie among the Hurons, where a name and a set of standards were established. The name Ontario Marine Heritage Committee was chosen, and the organization was to be dedicated to the Research, Interpretation and Preservation of Ontario’s Marine Heritage.

The founding members were Burke Penny, Ken Cassavoy, Felix Barbetti, Bill Mcneil, Patrick Folkes, Barbara McConnell, Art Amos, Jack Youngblut, Steve Buneta, Gene Baycroft and Stan McClellan.

Since that time many provincially licensed projects have been undertaken.  A number of these  include the continuance of the research into The Hope Island Wreck, (since identified as the MARQUETTE), The Rudder Survey, The Port Stanley Shipwreck Survey, The Newash Survey, The Bad Neighbour Shoal Project, The Atherley Narrows Project, The Lost Ports Project, The Schooner St. James Project and The Navy Hall Project.

OMHC members have also worked in other jurisdictions such as British Columbia, the British Virgin Islands and Labrador to name a few.

Click Here for the complete OMHC Organization Profile History.