Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary — one of two national marine sanctuaries in the nation devoted to shipwrecks — opened its exhibit space in September 2005. Head to Alpena and check out the shipwreck displays — photos, video, artifacts — and such high-tech wonders as a six-foot diameter globe that shows weather play out live around the world.

The sanctuary encompasses 448 square miles and more than 100 wrecks, especially well preserved because they lie in cold freshwater, not saltwater. Private excursions in glass-bottom boats or dive boats are available. About a dozen of the most popular wrecks have buoys for dive boat hook-up. The website has GPS coordinates for many more wrecks. 500 W. Fletcher St., Alpena. 989-356-8805. thunderbay.noaa.gov

Jeff Smith is editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.[email protected]

Note: This article was first published in July 2006 and was updated for the web February 2008.

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