(a) Salvage Agreements.—
The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to enter into marine salvage agreements for the recoveries, sale, and disposal of sunken or damaged vessels, cargoes, or properties owned or insured by or on behalf of the Maritime Administration, the United States Shipping Board, the U.S. Shipping Bureau, the United States Maritime Commission, or the War Shipping Administration.
(b) Military Craft.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the Secretary of the military department concerned prior to engaging in or authorizing any activity under subsection (a) that will disturb sunken military craft, as such term is defined in section 1408(3) of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108–375; 10 U.S.C. 113 note).
(c) Recoveries.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the net proceeds from salvage agreements entered into as authorized in subsection (a) shall remain available until expended and be distributed as follows:
Fifty percent shall be available to the Administrator of the Maritime Administration for the payment or reimbursement of expenses incurred by or on behalf of State maritime academies or the United States Merchant Marine Academy for facility and training ship maintenance, repair, and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel.
The remainder shall be distributed for maritime heritage preservation to the Department of the Interior for grants as authorized by section 308703 of title 54.