"Forty-two new sites will be proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List during the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee scheduled for July 10-17 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa. Extensions will be proposed for nine already inscribed sites." To date, the 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage protects 788 sites “of outstanding universal value” located in 134 States Parties and includes 611 cultural sites, 154 natural and 23 mixed sites.
UNESCO's World Heritage website provides a list of all the sites now approved, as well as an interactive map of their locations.
The twenty World Heritage Sites in the United States are listed below. (click on the name for UNESCO's description of the site.)
Mesa Verde (1978 )
Yellowstone (1978 )
Kluane/Wrangell-St Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek (1979 , 1992, 1994 ) *
Grand Canyon National Park (1979 )
Everglades National Park (1979 )
Independence Hall(1979 )
Redwood National Park (1980 )
Mammoth Cave National Park (1981 )
Olympic National Park (1981 )
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (1982 )
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (1983 )
La Fortaleza and San Juan Historic Site in Puerto Rico (1983 )
Statue of Liberty (1984 )
Yosemite National Park (1984 )
Chaco Culture National Historical Park (1987 )
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (1987 )
Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (1987 )
Pueblo de Taos (1992 )
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (1995 ) *
Carlsbad Caverns National Park (1995 )
The website devoted to the United States World Heritage sites lists eight cultural and 12 natural sites. The low level of respresentation of the United States in the list is further indicated by the fact that no U.S. site has been included in the last decade.
The low representation in the list of cultural sites may contribute to the impression so common in other nations that the United States is lacking in culture. I would suggest Broadway and the Manhattan skyline, the Washington Mall, the French Quarter of New Orleans, and the historic district of Santa Fe are worthy of inclusion. Even the list of natural heritage sites fails to include such places as the Big Sur coastline, Sequoia, Grand Tetons, Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.