National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are closed to the public while the waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary offices, and visitor center, the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center are located at:

500 W. Fletcher 
Alpena, Michigan 49707
Fax: 989-354-0144

Office Hours:  M-F, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Closed on Federal Holidays

The visitor center is FREE and open all year

Summer hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Sunday

Summer hours start on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend

Extended evening hours in July & August - open until 7:00 pm

Winter hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday12 noon - 5:00 pm Sunday

Winter hours start the second Monday in October

The Visitor Center exhibits are occasionally closed for special events, be sure and check our website calendar for the latest announcements.  
The Visitor Center is also closed on: Thanksgiving Day, December 24 (Christmas Eve), December 25 (Christmas Day), and December 31 (New Year's Eve), January 1, (New Year's Day), and Easter Sunday.

Get Directions to the sanctuary visitor center, located in the pleasant lake front community of Alpena, Sanctuary of the Great Lakes!

Sanctuary staff work to actively promote uses of sanctuary resources that are compatible with sanctuary resource protection; in fact, all National Marine Sanctuaries promote multiple uses.

Access to sanctuary shipwrecks is not restricted. The range of depth of the shipwrecks appeals to a variety of diver skill levels and also provides recreational opportunities for non-divers.

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Brochure

Explore Your Sanctuary Brochure

Michigan Sea Grant Coastal Tourism Fact Sheets - Plan Your Tour!

 The sanctuary hosts programs and events throughout the year.  Check ourcalendar to see what’s coming up!  Or request a special program for your group:

Program Reservation


Annual Thunder Bay International Film Festival

Great Lakes Regional MATE ROV Competition Brochure

Annual Thunder Bay Maritime Festival


Visitor Information

Michigan Historical Museum System


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center