Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on October 7, 2000. It is jointly managed by NOAA and the State of Michigan to protect and interpret a nationally significant collection of shipwrecks and other maritime heritage resources. NOAA published the original Final Environment Impact Statement and Management Plan in 1999. The sanctuary’s updated Final Management Plan (2009) was prepared by NOAA and the State of Michigan in cooperation with the Thunder Bay Sanctuary Advisory Council and with input from the public, local governments, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders (click here for a copy of the 2009 Final Management Plan)
The sanctuary solicits advice from the Thunder Bay Sanctuary Advisory Council whose members represent the community’s different interests, including government, education, maritime history and interpretation, fishing, diving, tourism, economic development, and the community-at-large.
In 2014, after a multi-year public process, the sanctuary expanded to 4,300 square miles. Read more here, and find all the relevant documentation here.