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In the landscape of American history, the sinking of the RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City remains one of the most powerful events of the early 20th century. More than 2,200 people were aboard the ship and nearly three-quarters of them perished. The loss of the Titanic had a profound impact worldwide.

The wreck of the Titanic was discovered in 1985 by a joint U.S.-French expedition in more than 12,400 feet of water in the North Atlantic. In recognition of the discovery of the wreck site and its historical and cultural significance, Congress passed the RMS Titanic Memorial Act of 1986.

April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Since the discovery of the wreck site, NOAA has been involved in protecting and preserving the site in some capacity — from participating in exploration and scientific missions to negotiating international agreements.
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