Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail
With special thanks to the Michigan Historical Center, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Story of Where® now includes shipwrecks. The Obama Administration announced on Friday, September 5th, that the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was officially expanding to include over 4,300 square miles and an estimated 47 known additional shipwrecks under the purview of NOAA and the Michigan Historical Center. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) says it best — “Uniquely preserved in the fresh, cold waters of Lake Huron, the vessels are a time capsule of our nation’s Great Lakes maritime heritage. They tell stories of history, commerce, and exploration.”
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Expands
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in northern Michigan has received federal approval to expand its size nearly tenfold and boost the preservation of scores of sunken vessels in an area of Lake Huron once known as “Shipwreck Alley.”
Thunder Bay, the only freshwater national sanctuary, is announced Friday, September 5th that the Obama administration approved the years-in-the-making effort to grow from about 450 square miles to 4,300 square miles. The expansion — which incorporates the waters from off Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle in the northeastern Lower Peninsula and to the maritime border with Canada — also doubles the number of estimated shipwrecks to roughly 200.
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation on the Thunder Bay Expansion
September 5, 2014 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today that the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary will expand from 448 square miles to encompass 4,300 square miles of Michigan’s Lake Huron. The expansion will increase the number of known protected historic shipwrecks from 45 to 92.
About Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary focuses on understanding the region’s “maritime cultural landscape.” A cultural landscape is a geographic area including both cultural and natural resources, coastal environments, human communities, and related scenery that is associated with historic events, activities, or people. In other words, while the shipwrecks of the Thunder Bay region are the most obvious underwater cultural resource, the sanctuary will put the shipwrecks in the larger context of the region’s lighthouses, lifesaving stations, shipwreck salvage operations, and maritime economic activities.
The maritime history of the Thunder Bay region is characterized by the use of, and dependence upon, natural resources. These resources include animal furs, fisheries, forests, farmland, and limestone. The first recorded use of natural resources for transportation, food supplies, and recreation in Thunder Bay was by Native Americans during the Woodland period. European activity probably originated with the efforts of Native Americans and French traders to locate and trap beaver during the 1600s.
Trading and supply boats routinely passed Thunder Bay on their way to outposts at Mackinaw, Sault Ste. Marie, and Green Bay. In 1679, LaSalle’s GRIFFON became the first major European vessel to pass by Thunder Bay, and many others were to follow. The need to transport supplies to northern frontier posts stimulated construction of small brigs, sloops, and schooners. Thunder Bay accumulated a large collection of shipwrecks because of its strategic location along shipping lanes, and because the bay and nearby islands provided shelter for vessels during inclement weather.
Shipwrecks in Story of Where® iPhone Mobile App