Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Expands


The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in northern Michigan was recently granted approval by the federal government to expand in size, allowing for the preservation of numerous more shipwrecks, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The only freshwater sanctuary in the nation will expand from 450 square miles to 4,300 square miles, more than ten times its current size. This expansion also will add a total of approximately 200 shipwrecks to “Shipwreck Alley’s” roster, according to AP. The sanctuary currently stretches from the waters near Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle to the northeastern Lower Peninsula.

Efforts to expand the sanctuary have been ongoing since 2000.

"It's been a long, long effort," sanctuary superintendent Jeff Gray was quoted as saying in the AP article. "It's a pretty monumental thing. ... In a small way, we raise the Great Lakes into this national dialogue."

Shipwreck Alley holds the remains of notable Great Lake shipwrecks, including the Isaac M. Scott and the New Orleans.

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Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

South Shore JUN17