Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve
Map showing the location of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve
Location among Michigan's Underwater Preserves
Location Lake Huron, Alpena County, Michigan USA
Nearest city Alpena, Michigan
Coordinates 45°00′12″N 83°15′11″W / 45.0034°N 83.253°W / 45.0034; -83.253Coordinates: 45°00′12″N 83°15′11″W / 45.0034°N 83.253°W / 45.0034; -83.253
Area 448 square miles (1,160 km2)
Governing body Michigan Department of Natural Resources, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Map of Thunder Bay sanctuary

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve is a U.S. National Marine Sanctuary on Thunder Bay, part of Lake Huron, within the U.S. state of Michigan. The 448-square-mile (1,160 km2) sanctuary and underwater preserve protects an estimated 116 historically significant shipwrecks ranging from nineteenth century wooden side-wheelers to twentieth century steel-hulled steamers. The Thunder Bay is the thirteenth National Marine Sanctuary designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was established in 2000. In 2014 it was expanded to 4,300-square-mile (11,000 km2).[1]

The landward boundary of the sanctuary extends from the northern boundary of Alpena County near Middle Island, to its southern boundary near South Point. The sanctuary extends east from the lakeshore to longitude 83 degrees west. Alpena is the largest city in the area.

There are a great many wrecks in the sanctuary, and their preservation and protection is a concern for national policy makers.[2]

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center[edit]

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Tied to the sanctuary is the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, 500 W Fletcher St, Alpena, MI 49707 (989) 356-8805. The museum features exhibits about local ship wrecks and the Great Lakes, an auditorium, an archaeological conservation lab and education areas.

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