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GLIN==> Thunder Bay Announcement

Posted on behalf of Karen Brubeck <karen.brubeck@noaa.gov>

The announcement occured today at 11:00 eastern standard time.

-- Press Release --
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
June 19, 2000
Contact: Ellen Brody
(734) 741-2270
Karen Brubeck
(360) 394-8330

Agreement Reached on Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater

Today NOAA’s Jeff Benoit, director of the Department of Commerce’s Office
of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and Michigan Governor John Engler
announced that an agreement has been reached on the proposed Thunder Bay
National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve. The sanctuary/preserve,
located in Alpena, Mich., will protect the nationally significant collection
of shipwrecks in Thunder Bay.

"Today the state of Michigan and NOAA are entering into an equal partnership
to protect Thunder Bay’s nationally significant cultural resources for
future generations. A close and ongoing relationship between NOAA,
the state and local communities will ensure the sanctuary/preserve is a
success,” said William Daley, U.S. secretary of commerce. Daley added,
“I would like to thank members of the Thunder Bay communities who put
time and effort into the designation process. Their input was critical
to crafting a viable proposal for a Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The project would not have progressed to this point without their

Thunder Bay will be the 13th national marine sanctuary. The mission
of the National Marine Sanctuary Program is to conserve, protect and enhance
the bio-diversity, ecological integrity, and/or cultural legacy of selected
marine and Great Lakes areas. NOAA is designating Thunder Bay because
the collection of over 100 shipwrecks is of national significance.

For the past six months, NOAA and Governor Engler's office engaged in
detailed discussions on various aspects of the proposed sanctuary including
the size and name, funding levels, and staffing arrangements. NOAA
agreed to a number of changes in response to the state’s concerns.
A NOAA/state Joint Management Committee will be created to ensure equal
governance of the sanctuary/preserve. NOAA agreed to reduce the size
of the boundary by almost half, from 808 square miles to 448 square miles.
NOAA also agreed to the name “Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and
Underwater Preserve” to reflect the State underwater preserve. The
state has agreed to commit one million dollars over a five-year period.

In response to state and sanctuary advisory council concerns, NOAA had
previously agreed to other “safeguards” that were reflected in the final
environmental impact statement, published in 1999. In particular,
NOAA agreed to re-propose the sanctuary/preserve in five years, providing
an opportunity for both parties to determine the success of the partnership
and whether it should continue. NOAA also agreed to obtain approval
from the governor on changes to the scope of management, promulgation of
emergency regulations, and imposition of user fees.

In terms of next steps, NOAA will publish the Final Regulations in the
Federal Register. Following an approximately four-month period of
congressional and gubernatorial review, the sanctuary/preserve will be


Karen Brubeck,
Public Outreach Coordinator
Proposed Thunder Bay NMS/NOAA
360-394-8330 Phone
360-394-3510 FAX

For more information, http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/glsr/thunderbay/

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