The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries recently announced the designation of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The area on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin has been under consideration for national marine sanctuary status since 2014.
The sanctuary will make up 962-square-miles in Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin side and will protect 36 shipwrecks. The shipwrecks possess rich historic, archaeological and recreational value. Historical research suggests that nearly 60 shipwrecks are yet to be discovered in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary will be co-managed between NOAA and the State of Wisconsin, expanding upon 30 years of stewardship by the state. There will be new opportunities for research, resource protection, educational programming and community engagement.