This blog has reported on the discovery in Lake Michigan of a vessel thought to date back to the 18th century, and there could be more crafts of this kind out there. As the Washington Times reports, this is an area that has seen dozens of wrecks discovered over the years.
This all goes back to the historical influx of shipping activity here, in some cases dating back more than 300 years. These lakes require specific commercial diving insurance based on the nature of individual missions.
Lake Superior can grant divers access to wrecks from the Whitefish Point area. Some of these ingress points, like the Miztec, are at the relatively shallow depth of 45 feet, the Times reports. But while both research and recreational divers can be found in these waters, the amount of attention they have received has prompted legal consideration from the Senate Great Lakes Task Force to protect the sites of the wrecks.
Marine Link quoted Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, one of five sponsors who are championing a bill that would force the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to reassess the Great Lakes and come up with a list of new sites that should be granted protection from the government. It's not just ancient wrecks that have been discovered in these waters: the wreck of a tugboat from the early twentieth century was also found in Lake Michigan.
In his statement, Levin referred to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which was established as protected area 14 years ago.
"Thunder Bay has had enormous scientific, cultural and economic benefits for Alpena and Northeast Michigan," he said. "We should build on that success, potentially with a network of protected sites that bring the historic and cultural significance of our Great Lakes heritage to life."
This last site is so notorious for shipwrecks that it has even been nicknamed "Shipwreck Alley," according to its website.