Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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Research

Lake Huron’s cold, fresh water ensures that Thunder Bay’s shipwrecks are among the best preserved in the world. The sanctuary conducts a variety of research in an effort to better understand and protect the recreational, historical and archeological value of the region’s maritime heritage resources. Knowledge acquired through research is used to evaluate existing management practices, improve future management decisions, and educate the public about the significance of the Great Lakes and their history. Many larger expeditions and resource protection efforts are funded through grants. Since 2005 the sanctuary and its partners have secured over $390,000 for on-water research. Resource protection continues ashore too, with the sanctuary and the Alpena County Library receiving $450,000 in grant funding to digitize and make available online our jointly managed archival collection.

The sanctuary also promotes and assists research aimed at better understanding the environmental and natural aspects of Lake Huron.  From real-time weather observations to artificial reefs to understanding the complex micro-environment of submerged sinkholes, the sanctuary works with a variety of partners to accomplish this.

For more information, read about the sanctuary’s 2013 and 2014 resource protection highlights.

Thunderbay Condition Report
NOAA has just released the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report. The report describes the state of the sanctuary’s resources and pressures that affect their scientific integrity and recreational value. Read the report here.

Learn more about the sanctuary’s current and past expeditions, its primary research vessel RV Storm and NOAA’s “Green” Great Lakes Fleet.

The sanctuary has also been designated by Office of National Marine Sanctuaries as a Center of Excellence for Diving and Marine Technology. Learn more here.

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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center