The mission of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries is to serve as the trustee for the nation's system of marine protected areas; to conserve, protect, and enhance their biodiversity, ecological integrity, and cultural legacy.

About Us


The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the thirteenth National Marine Sanctuary in a system that extends from American Samoa to Massachusetts. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was established to protect a nationally significant collection of over 100 shipwrecks, spanning over a century of Great Lakes shipping history. Thunder Bay Natioal Marine Sanctuary represents many "firsts" for the National Marine Sanctuary Program:

  • First Great Lakes sanctuary
  • First sanctuary to focus solely on a large collection of underwater cultural resources
  • First sanctuary located entirely in state waters
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
500 West Fletcher St.
Alpena, MI 49707
Location Map for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


All Saints Catholic School- Marine Debris and the 3Rs
Creating a culture of conservation at the school while raising community awareness
Alpena High School - Shipwreck Alley
Students will collect the oral histories, help preserve artifacts, and help develop an educational exhibit to encourage stewardship and preservation of the Lake Huron fishery.
Atlanta - Water Quality Monitoring Project
7th and 8th grade students are visiting multiple sites along the upper waters of the Thunder Bay River to monitor river health.
Au Gres River - Water Monitoring
Students from Au Gres-Sims Elementary have joined interested community partners to monitor the health of the East Branch of the Au Gres River from head waters to its outlet in Lake Huron.
Besser Elementary - Water Quality Monitoring - Arbor Day
4th grade students from Besser Elementary visit Duck Park/Island Park twice a year to learn and monitor river health.
Black River Watershed Monitoring and Management Planning
Environmental Science Students partner in monitoring and developing a watershed management plan for their local Black River Watershed
Building Stewardship in Local Waters
Alcona Middle Schoolers Study Water Quality, Wetlands and the Effects of Marine Debris
BWET Grant Gets Students Exploring Local Resources
Posen Students Build Appreciation and Understanding of Local Resources
Ella White - Native Fish and Restoration Project
From Sturgeon on Loan, to raising Lake Trout in the classroom, these 5th graders focus on the most wanted species in Lake Huron.
Great Lakes Fisheries in the Classroom Efforts
Raising Lake Sturgeon, Chinook Salmon, and Lake Trout in the classroom to help our fisheries!
Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail Stories
Science in the Sanctuary students collect stories from northern Lake Huron communities to contribute to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail website
Hubbard Lake Water Quality Monitoring
Students use chemical and aquatic invertebrate tests to determine health of Hubbard Lake.
Lincoln Elementary - BWET- Island Mill Park
Students use chemical and aquatic invertebrate tests to determine health of the Thunder Bay River
Lunchroom Waste Turned Eco-Brick Bench
5th Graders Led the Charge to Turn Lunchroom Waste into School Bench!
Microplastics Research Project in Lake Huron
Alpena High Schools Chemistry students apply their learning to Lake Huron to collect and analyze micro-plastics from Thunder Bay.
NOAA Great Lakes B-WET -  Our Rivers, Our Future
NOAA's B-WET program is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment.
Northeast Michigan Earth Day Bag Project
Raising Awareness about the Danger of Plastic Bags in the Great Lakes
Onaway High School Service Learning Class Info
Oscoda Owls Explore the Pine River - Van Etten Lake Watershed!
Oscoda Middle School students are stepping up and becoming natural resources leaders in their local watershed through place based education.
ROV STEM Enrichment
4-H Student Stewards received a grant to increase STEM awareness during the summer of 2014.
Salmon in the Classroom and Learning Harbor Ecosystems
Alcona Elementary students raise salmon and take care of their shoreline by preventing marine debris
Studying the Watershed of Alcona County Info
The Thunder Bay River Watershed Project Info
Thunder Bay International Film Festival Student Film Competition Info
Thunder Bay Jr. High - Invasive Buckthorn Management
6th Grade students utilize the school's Outdoor Education Site to learn about the diverse ecosystem near their school and have a positive impact on the creek habitat through environmentally conscious management
Thunder Bay Junior High - Lake Huron Adopt-a-Beach
The Adopt-a-Beach Program is more than just a beach sweep. Teams conduct litter removal and monitoring, and also complete a beach health assessment form that includes science-based observation and testing.


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