The following is a summary of the Final Regulations for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
This summary is prepared as an expanded outline. Please refer to the text of the regulations for additional information. You may skip to the information below by clicking on the specific highlighted information.
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary encourages and promotes recreational activities within the designated boundaries. These activities include:
- Diving: charter, recreational and commercial
- Fishing: charter, recreational, and commercial
- Boating: recreational and commercial
These and all other activities may be conducted unless prohibited or otherwise regulated here or by any other Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction.
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Users of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary are prohibited and therefore restricted from conducting or organizing others to conduct the following:
- Recovering, altering, destroying, possessing or attempting to recover, alter, destroy, or possess an underwater cultural resource (shipwrecks, prehistoric sites, piers and other structures)
- Altering lake bottom, such as drilling or dredging, constructing or abandoning any structure including signs etc. relating to underwater cultural resources except as accidental result of:
- Anchoring vessels
- Traditional fishing operations
- Minor projects that do not adversely affect underwater cultural resources
- Using grappling hooks or other anchoring devices on any underwater cultural resource sites that are marked with a mooring buoy.
- Interfering, obstructing, delaying, or preventing an investigation, search, seizure or disposition of taken property in connection with enforcement of the Sanctuary Act or any other regulations issued under the Act.
Each violation of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary regulations, or any permit issued pursuant thereto, is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $130,000. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation.
The National Marine Sanctuaries Act Section 307 authorizes the assessment of the civil penalty stated above.
Regulations stating the procedures governing administrative proceedings for assessment of civil penalties, permit sanctions, and denials for enforcement reasons, issuance and use of written warnings, and release or forfeiture of seized property appear at 15 CFR part 904.
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Response Cost and Damages
Under section 312 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, any person who destroys, causes the loss of, or injures any Sanctuary resource is liable to the United States for response costs and damages resulting from such destruction, loss or injury, and any vessel used to destroy, cause the loss of, or injure any Sanctuary resource is liable to rem to the United States for response costs and damages from such destruction, loss or injury.
Permits-Application Procedures and Issuance Criteria
A person may conduct an activity prohibited by Sanctuary/Preserve regulations only if conducted in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms and conditions of a State Permit provided that:
1. The State Archaeologist certifies to NOAA that the activity authorized under the state permit will be conducted consistent with the Programmatic Agreement, in which case the State Permit shall be deemed to have met the requirements of the Sanctuary/Preserve regulations.
2. In the case where the State Archaeologist does not certify that the activity to be authorized under a State Permit will be conducted consistent with the Programmatic Agreement, the person complies with the requirements of the Sanctuary/Preserve regulations.
3. If no state permit is required to conduct an activity prohibited by the Sanctuary/Preserve regulations, a person may conduct such activity if it is conducted in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms and conditions such of a Federal Permit, provided that the person complies with the provisions of the Sanctuary/Preserve regulations.
4. In instances where the conduct of an activity is prohibited by the Sanctuary/Preserve regulations, and is not addressed under a State or other Federal lease, license, permit or other authorization, a person must obtain a Sanctuary permit from NOAA pursuant to the Programmatic Agreement in order to conduct the activity.
5. A permit for recovery of an underwater cultural resource may be issued if:
- The proposed activity satisfies the requirements for permits described in the Sanctuary/Preserve regulations
- The recovery of the underwater cultural resource is in the public interest
- Recovery of the underwater cultural resource is part of research to preserve historic information, or further the policies of the Sanctuary
- A person shall file an application for a permit to:
State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Land and Water Resource Management Division P.O. Box 30458 Lansing, Michigan 48909-7958
Detailed information on the application process for a permit is contained in the official version of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Federal Regulations.
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Download Federal Register and Regulations
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Federal Register and Regulations is available for download in PDF format (20 pages, 239,325 bytes). Be sure to set Adobe Acrobat Reader to view bookmarks in order to ease through the document.
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