Pursuant to Alabama Act No. 2001-956, the State of Alabama, Alabama Historical Commission requests proposals from qualified professionals to provide a diver assessment, possible artifact recovery and conservation, and specialized maritime archaeological testing. The purpose of this project is to determine the condition of submerged archaeological site 1BA704, the Clotilda, and to use that information to create a management plan for preservation of the archaeological site. Due to hazardous conditions on 1BA704, this level of investigation will require industrial level diving and specialized safety protocols. The location of archaeological site 1BA704 is remote and only accessible by boat or barge. The selected contractor will be responsible for all equipment and supplies necessary to conduct the investigation, accommodations for project personnel during field work, as well as providing all transportation to-and-from site.
Proposed Scope of Work:
1. A high-resolution sonar survey of the interior of the exposed structure at 1BA704. The detailed imagery will inform assessment of risk to the site from the effects of ongoing erosion and other natural processes. The data will be used to develop a scientific, evidence-based plan to address and arrest effects of ongoing erosion and other natural processes, help to determine if stabilization of the site is necessary, and provide information to inform a preservation plan.
2. A marine geological study of 1BA704 that assesses the composition, structure, and resistance of the sediment in and around the wreck and an engineering assessment to determine both the stability of the site in its current context and the feasibility of any proposals to address stability problems if identified, such as a cofferdam or other structure that may be needed to protect the wreck. The area around the wreck will also be investigated to evaluate the riverbed in consideration of erecting a monument on the site.
3. Installation, operation, and management of a system to measure and monitor river current and water movement both in and around the wreck for at least a year to further assess the degree of risk to the site from the effects of ongoing erosion due to seasonal water fluctuation and storm events.
4. A biological assessment of the benthic zone to identify the species that have colonized 1BA704, from bacteria through larger flora and fauna and to determine the degree to which the biological colonization of the wreck is causing decay.
5. A structural assessment of the hull by engineers to determine if the port side of the wreck, nearest the edge of the landform, needs support to preserve its integrity such as a cofferdam or other structure that may be needed to protect the wreck.
6. Targeted excavation to investigate the bulkheads and the hold of the ship with industrial dive efforts. Diagnostic and/or exhibit quality artifacts recovered during excavation will be stabilized and conserved, but the purpose of the project is to gather information necessary for a scientific, evidence-based plan to conserve and preserve 1BA704.
7. Collection of wood and iron samples from the decking, and frames inside the wreck and from areas currently buried to assess condition, level of deterioration, DNA sampling, and to inform a scientific, evidence-based plan to conserve and preserve 1BA704.
8. Systematic probing towards the stern of the vessel to confirm estimated length.
9. Assist AHC in providing information required to permit the project, including but not excluded to the Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit that will be required for the excavation.
Requirements may be revised as needed to fulfill the job based on information collected in the process of gathering of information.
Required by All Applicants: Include not only a price proposal for the work listed above, but also for emergency stabilization of the vessel, if survey work determines it necessary. Applicants must provide a proposed research design, an artifact conservation plan, a statement of qualifications for individuals who will perform professional work and specialized analysis, a proposed project budget, proof of insurance, work samples of projects with a similar scope and magnitude, a project safety plan including and emergency management plan and measures to protect project personnel during the COVID 19 epidemic, and references from agencies for whom you have completed work of a similar scope and magnitude.
Qualifications: Applicants will be selected based on experience and qualifications of the firm with projects equivalent to the scope of this project; capability and ability to perform the work in a timely manner; and the range of services provided by proposed team. All lead maritime historians, specialists, and maritime archaeologists must meet Secretary of the Interiors qualification standards for their respective fields. Individuals who will perform professional work must also meet the minimal professional qualifications for submerged cultural resources investigation in Alabama; a graduate degree in archaeology, anthropology, or closely related field, plus: at least one year full-time professional experience or equivalent specialized training in maritime archaeological research, administration, or management; at least four months of supervised field. and analytical experience in general maritime archaeology; demonstrated ability to carry research to completion. In addition to these minimum qualifications, the applicant shall have at least one year of full-time professional experience at a supervisory level in professional maritime archaeology, and verified, comprehensive knowledge of both the general history and maritime history of the Mobile area, overall, and the Africatown/Clotilda history, specifically. Act 2001-955 requires a disclosure statement to be completed and filed with all proposals, bids, contracts, or grant proposals submitted to the State of Alabama in excess of $5,000. The form is also available online at: https://www.alabamaag.gov/Documents/files/File-AL-Vendor-Disclosure-Statement.pdf