High tech studies Lake Huron shipwrecks

Capital News Service
LANSING — Diving isn’t the only way to get an in-depth look at the mysteries beneath the surface of the Great Lakes. Lasers, underwater robots and other innovative technologies are simplifying the discovery of and research about hundreds of shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a 4,300-square-mile shipwreck sanctuary in northwestern Lake Huron near Alpena. It has one of America’s best-preserved and nationally significant collection of shipwrecks. There are 92 known wrecks in the newly expanded sanctuary, and four have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, said Sarah Waters, the education coordinator at the sanctuary.

More federal recognition sought for Great Lakes shipwrecks

Capital News Service
LANSING – Deep below the chill waters of northwestern Lake Huron, four doomed ships have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. While nobody other than SCUBA divers are likely to see them up-close, their history and their tragedy are now increasingly accessible to the public. The new official recognition of their importance is expected to spur efforts to list more of the Great Lakes’ hundreds of shipwrecks on the National Register, which the National Park Service describes as “the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation,” whether publicly or privately owned. “There are so many shipwrecks in Michigan waters that this is a long-term project. We’re focusing on ones that are more complete and hold more of the history,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center.

Communities mark killer storm's centennial

Capital News Service
LANSING – If you’re unfamiliar with the worst storm in Great Lakes recorded history, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn about it this year. November marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Lakes Storm of 1913, the “white hurricane” – named for its hurricane-force winds in a blizzard– that destroyed 19 ships and killed more than 250 people. It was the worst maritime disaster to hit the Great Lakes, according to Paul Carroll, author of “The Wexford: Elusive Shipwreck of the Great Storm, 1913” – a history book about a steamer sunk by the storm and eventually found in 2000. Carroll is a member of a committee recognizing the centennial in Ontario. A number of the ships caught in the storm foundered in Michigan.

Chalk up another victim of exotics: shipwrecks

Capital News Service
LANSING – Thousands of shipwrecks lie at the bottom of Michigan waters. These cultural treasures attract thousands of visitors to the state, but changing conditions in the Great Lakes threaten their preservation. According to Tom Graf, a water resource specialist with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Great Lakes are home to an estimated 6,000 shipwrecks with about 2,000 of them in Michigan. But the Great Lakes hold more than just ships. Piers, wharves and an estimated 200 military aircraft lost during training exercises in World War II litter the lake’s floor.