- Associated Press - Sunday, June 29, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Several U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would require a search of the Great Lakes for sites that could be designated as federal marine sanctuaries.

The bill would order the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct the analysis and report to Congress. The agency would look for underwater areas with nationally significant historical and archaeological resources.

The U.S. has 14 national marine sanctuaries. The only one in fresh water is Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron near Alpena. It protects scores of historic shipwrecks.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan says it provides scientific, cultural and economic benefits. He says marine sanctuaries could do likewise in other Great Lakes communities.

Congress or the commerce secretary could protect areas the study identifies as good candidates.

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Online:

https://thunderbay.noaa.gov

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