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Sanctuary Advisory Council

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State of Michigan regard the involvement of communities and the development of a stewardship ethic as vitally important to address sanctuary management issues. One key way to achieve this involvement is the formation of Sanctuary Advisory Councils.

Sanctuary Advisory Councils are formed of members from the community to provide advice to the Sanctuary Manager on the management and protection of the sanctuary, or to assist the NMSS in guiding a proposed site through the designation process.

The National Marine Sanctuary System (NMSS) is committed to the full support, utilization, and enhancement of Councils at all sanctuaries. In order for Councils to achieve their full potential, the NMSS will:

  • At each site, provide sufficient support to allow Councils to operate efficiently and effectively;

  • Provide support and guidance from the national office to help Councils operate efficiently and at a basic level of consistency across the system;

  • Promote coordination and communication among Councils and among sanctuary staff that work closely with Councils; and

  • Develop training programs appropriate to Council officers and members, and Sanctuary Managers and staff.

New Advisory Council Selected

Since the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve (Sanctuary/Preserve) was officially designated in 2000, a new Sanctuary Advisory Council was recently created. The new Council provides advice and recommendations to the Sanctuary/Preserve Manager and the Joint Management Committee (a state/federal body to oversee major management decisions on the Sanctuary/Preserve) regarding the management of the Sanctuary/Preserve.

The new Council consists of 15 members which represent a variety of local interests and stakeholders. A public meeting was held January 23 in Alpena to solicit the public's input on which local interests should be represented on the new Council. Click here to see the list of Council seats.

In 1997 NOAA established the first Sanctuary Advisory Council. That SAC's mission was to provide advice and a list of recommendations to NOAA and the State regarding the designation process for the Sanctuary/Preserve. The first Council helped NOAA and the State determine what issues should be considered and addressed if the site were to be designated a National Marine Sanctuary. More recently it provided input on which community interests should be represented on the new Advisory Council.

SAC Photo

The new Sanctuary Advisory Council discusses issues on their agenda.

SAC Membership (includes alternates):



Don Beem

Alt: David Dekett

 Recreation (3 year term)

Deborah Pardike

Alt: Erwin Lewandowski

 Tourism (2 year term)

 Kenneth Kolasa

Alt: James Milstein

 Business/Economic Development (3 year term)

 Edward Retherford

Alt: Arthur Gillespie

Fishing- (3 year term)

 Merl Melton

Alt: Steven Kroll

 Diving -(2 year term)

 Dr. Donald Newport

Alt: John Singer

 Education-Higher- (3 year term)

Paula Thompson

Alt: Brian Tippman

 Education-K-12 -(2 year term)

 John McConnell

Alt: Kathleen Hubbard

 Maritime History and Interpretation- (2 year term)

 Betty Krueger

Alt: Gerald Newhouse

 Citizen-At-Large-(2 year term)

 David Elder

Alt: Kimberly Wallis-Burke

 Citizen-At-Large-(2 year term)

 Leonard Zolnierek

Alt: Michael Nunneley

 Alpena County Board of Commissioners

 Carol Shafto

Alt: Phil Ludlow

 Alpena City Council

 Marie Twite

Alt: Gerald Nowak

 Alpena Township Board of Trustees

 Lynda VanDusen

Alt: Kenneth Gauthier

 Sanborn Township Board of Trustees
 Jeff Myers  Thunder Bay Underwater Preserve Council
Faith McGruther (CORA) Ex-Officio (Non-Voting Member)

New !! SAC Chair and Vice-Chair chosenSAC Chair and Vice Chair

Carol Shafto, City Council representative, was elected Chair for the Sanctuary Advisory Council. The Council elected Ed Retherford, fishing representative, as Vice Chair.

Click here to view information and an application for the SAC. [pdf]

Click here to view information about the SAC working groups.

Click here to view past meeting minutes.

Click here to view more photos of the October 23 SAC meeting.

Click here to view a contact list for the SAC members and alternates.