253.420. 1. After August 28, 1991, no person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship or organization shall initiate salvage operations, excavation or similar ground disturbing activities of any submerged or embedded abandoned shipwreck in this state which meets the national register of historic places criteria without obtaining a permit from the department of natural resources as provided in this section. As used in this section, the term "embedded" means firmly affixed in lands such that the use of excavation tools is required in order to gain access to any part of the shipwreck or its cargo.
2. The department of natural resources shall not issue a permit under this section unless the applicant submits a detailed plan of the activities regulated by this section to be made by the applicant and such plan is approved by the department. The department is authorized to promulgate appropriate regulations for the administration of this section. All recovery and investigation plans shall meet the current professional standards for such activities, which minimize the risk of loss or damage to the shipwreck or its cargo. An applicant shall be a professional archaeologist, as defined in section 194.400, or shall hire a professional archaeologist as a staff member or consultant to the activities regulated by this section. Upon approval of a permit application, the applicant shall pay a permit fee of one hundred dollars to the director of the department of revenue, who shall deposit all funds received pursuant to this section in the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund. The department of natural resources shall approve or deny any application for a permit under this section within thirty days of application.
3. In the event there is a sale, at least fifty percent of each class, category or type of all artifacts or recovered materials shall be donated or offered for sale at fair market value to public or private museums or to other public institutions in this state. Such museums and institutions shall study, interpret and display such materials or artifacts. To the maximum extent possible, such artifacts shall remain in Missouri.
4. Any person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship or organization who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Upon conviction, all specimens, objects and materials collected or excavated by such person, together with all photographs and records relating to such material, are property of the state. Each day of a continuing violation of subsection 1 of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
5. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated under the authority of this section shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of section 536.024.
(L. 1991 S.B. 75 § 1, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3)
Missouri General Assembly