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Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center
500 W. Fletcher St.
Alpena, MI 49707
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The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary preserves a national treasure, nearly 200 historic shipwrecks in and around the bay. Lake Huron’s cold, fresh water preserves many of these shipwrecks intact and in water depths ranging from a few inches to 200 feet, making the sanctuary a popular destination for divers, snorkelers and kayakers. You can explore the history and archaeology of these wrecks at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, the Sanctuary’s 20,000 square foot river front headquarters. Exhibits on Great Lakes maritime history and shipwrecks include the new “Exploring the Shipwreck Century” exhibit, a 9,000 square ft. permanent exhibit where visitors can experience elements of a traditional maritime museum combined with a hands-on discovery center featuring life-sized recreations of an historic Great Lakes schooner and shipwreck sites, artifact displays, and interactive learning stations on technology and diving. Also featuring a sanctuary store, state of the art education spaces, high-definition theater, and archaeological conservation lab, the admission-free Center is a great destination and the best place to begin exploring Thunder Bay. Please call for current hours of operation. Wreck locations are available on our web site. While visiting Alpena, you may also want to explore the Thunder Bay Sanctuary Research Collection, one of the largest archival collections of Great Lakes maritime history in existence, located at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library. Please call for hours.
Sanctuary Lecture Series: The Search for the Lost Whaling Fleets of the Western Arctic7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Brad Barr, Ph.D., marine archeologist, will share his experience and findings of the “Search for the Lost Whaling Fleets of the Western Arctic” expedition.
Earth Is Blue: A Closer Look at National Marine Sanctuaries in A Night at the Museum7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
In association with the MSU Science Festival, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a part of our Open House and Tour and Night at the Museums Series.
MSU Night at the Museum, Earth is Blue!7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Enjoy a selection of short films about science and exploration across the 14 sites within the National Marine Sanctuary System.