MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal officials plan to designate a huge swath of Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan coastline as National Marine Sanctuary to protect historic shipwrecks in the area.
Gov. Tony Evers’ office announced Tuesday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will publish regulations designating 962 square miles from Kewaunee County south to Ozaukee County as a sanctuary.
The designation will protect 36 shipwrecks, 21 of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Evers’ office says research suggests the area may include as many as 60 additional shipwrecks. The designation is subject to congressional review.
“The City of Manitowoc has worked toward this day for 12 years along with many wonderful partners at NOAA, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the State of Wisconsin, and our municipal partners. We are excited that the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast NMS will finally be a reality,” says Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels.
Manitowoc’s Mayor was not the only one excited to the designation.
“Two Rivers has been a strong advocate for the National Marine Sanctuary Designation since it was first proposed, and we are very excited that the designation will soon become reality,” says Two Rivers City Manager, Greg Buckley.
More information can be found on Wisconsin Shipwreck’s website.