The dedicated work of groups who have tirelessly worked to protect and preserve maritime cultural heritage often goes unrecognized or is overlooked by a broader audience. To acknowledge and honor such organizations, agencies, or institutions, the ACUA is initiating an award to celebrate and commend these exemplars by presenting a Certificate of Distinguished Achievement to recognize the lasting value of this work in maritime archaeology.

The award will be given annually to honor any organization or group with a mission for a project or trajectory of sustained excellence in the field of maritime/underwater/nautical archaeology. Success of these organizations most often is the result of shared vision and teamwork; therefore, the award is not intended for any individual.

For more information on the award download the award criteria and nomination information.


  • 2022 Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Service and Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) Underwater Archaeology Sub-Directorate

The inaugural ACUA Certificate of Distinguished Achievement is jointly awarded to Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Service (UAS) and to the Subdirección de Arqueología Subacuática (SAS) of the Instituto Nacional de Anthropologia e Historia for their foundational contributions and early leadership in the field of underwater archaeology.

Underwater Archaeology Service , Parks Canada
Subdirection de Arqueologia Subacuatica, INAH

In 1964, the Underwater Archaeology Service began its mission to explore, locate, and research Canada’s many submerged cultural resources. The Service has shown innovation and leadership in expanding knowledge, educating the public, and bringing the underwater cultural heritage of Canada to the world stage. Since its founding in 1980, the Subdirección de Arqueología Subacuática mission has been the protection, research, conservation, and communication of the underwater cultural heritage in Mexico’s marine, interior, and continental waters. Each organization has demonstrated sustained excellence and their efforts have had a lasting impact on the preservation, interpretation, and public awareness of underwater cultural heritage.

A virtual award ceremony was held on April 6, 2022, to recognize these distinguished organizations. To view the award ceremony visit ACUA’s YouTube Channel