The team of researchers, led by Dr. Goodwin, used magnetometer equipment to scan the riverbed for remnants of 27 US vessels burned by the British during the war. The researchers employed a unique vessel designed by the University of Rhode Island that searches the seabed in areas as shallow as 18 inches.
Once any submerged artifacts were located, historic preservation experts were able to advise municipal and state leaders on how to protect the shipwrecks from future storms. Other important considerations included avoiding damage to the artifacts when placing submerged cables or conducting other coastal work. Before the project commenced, Connecticut had just two existing submerged artifacts: the remains of William Gillette’s houseboat, Aunt Polly, and the Cornfield Point Lightship.