Bill Introduced to Assess Great Lakes Marine Sanctuaries

By Eric Haun
Monday, June 30, 2014

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, and four colleagues introduced legislation requiring a federal assessment of Great Lakes waters with significant cultural, historic or archaeological value for possible preservation as federal marine sanctuaries.

The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Assessment Act would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to submit to Congress a report and recommendations on possible Great Lakes sanctuaries. Today, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron near Alpena, Mich., which protects scores of historic shipwrecks, is the nation’s only freshwater federal sanctuary.

Cosponsors are Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a vice chair of the Great Lakes Task Force; Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

“Thunder Bay has had enormous scientific, cultural and economic benefits for Alpena and Northeast Michigan,” Levin 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. Our legislation would require a comprehensive assessment of possible sites, an assessment developed in close cooperation with local Great Lakes communities.”

“Michigan’s historic Great Lakes shipwrecks draw families and divers from across the state and throughout the world to discover and explore our rich maritime heritage. Sanctuaries like Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary help protect these fragile sites that are a window into the past,” said Stabenow. “This measure will allow more areas in the Great Lakes to be protected as sanctuaries to preserve these treasures for future generations.”

“The cultural and economic impact of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes has played a key role in the founding and development of the United States,” Brown said. “It is important that we protect these irreplaceable resources for generations to come. This legislation takes an important step in doing so.”

“Lake Superior is home to countless national treasures that hold important historical, cultural, and economic importance to Minnesota,” Klobuchar said. “This bill would help identify and preserve potential marine heritage sites throughout the Great Lakes system and could bring new research and economic development to our state and region.”

“A federal marine sanctuary designation provides not only recreation, research, and tourism opportunities but also fosters economic growth and development in the nearby communities,” Baldwin said. “The Great Lakes contain over one-fifth of the world’s freshwater yet are home to only one of our nation’s federal marine sanctuaries. As Wisconsin is bordered by two of our Great Lakes, I’m proud to support this effort to further examine these bodies of water for national designation to preserve both these natural resources and our Great Lakes culture.”

The bill would require NOAA to submit a report within one year to the relevant House and Senate committees that includes:

•    Underwater areas in the Great Lakes with “historical and archaeological resources of sufficient value and density to make them nationally significant,” with a description of those assets.
•    An evaluation of community interest in preserving such resources.
•    Recommendations on whether such areas should be designated as national marine sanctuaries.

The bill would require NOAA to collaborate with local communities in producing its assessment.

Areas identified by NOAA as potential sanctuaries could receive protected status through action by the  secretary of commerce, who is authorized under the 1972 law establishing the marine sanctuary system to designate marine sanctuaries. Congress also can pass legislation designating sanctuaries.

Today, the nation has 14 areas protected as national marine sanctuaries; all but Thunder Bay are in salt waters. Since its establishment in 2000, Thunder Bay has hosted scientific and archaeological researchers; held global student robotics competition and partnered with area educational institutions to help students develop maritime careers; and attracted tourists from across the country and around the world.

 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Ecoships Claims 15% Ship Efficiency Gain

Ecoships introduced a customized version of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process and performance evaluation in order to optimize the energy-efficiency of the vessels under its management.

IBIA Welcomes MEPC Bunker Compromise

The compromise solution on the issue of ensuring bunker quality agreed at the 67th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) has been

Interferry Applauds IMO Consideration of BWTS Exemption

Interferry has praised a decision made at last week’s meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) that could exempt certain ferry operators

News

UN Authorizes Ship Inspections Near Somalia For Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Rederij Groen Takes Delivery of 7-Waves

Rederij Groen’s entire SRSV fleet built by Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam. Dutch offshore services company Rederij Groen has taken delivery of the 7-Waves,

UASC Targets Expansion to Beat Container Market Blues

UASC expects to reach volume of 2.35 mln TEU in 2014 Global carriers still struggling with weak conditions United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is on a major expansion drive,

Marine Science

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f

Bright Outlook for BWM Convention

The Danish Maritime Authority informed that the Ballast Water Management Convention is now one step closer to ratification following last week’s meeting of United

Nordic Wins with Noble

Nordic Maritime, a leading offshore service operator, today announced a five year time charter for its DP2 IMR Subsea vessel, Mokul Nordic, which has been awarded by Noble Energy,

People in the News

Total CEO Plane Crash: Russian Prosecutors Detain More Suspects

Russian prosecutors detained four Moscow airport workers and denied bail to the driver of a snow plough which hit a private jet killing the CEO of French oil company Total earlier this week,

Chief of Naval Personnel Visits Naval Special Warfare

Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran visited Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Sailors during an all hands call on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Oct.

EUCAP Nestor Train 30 Somali Coast Guards

On 21 October, the European Union’s Maritime Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor) celebrated the successful completion of a two month Mentoring,

Government Update

Gazprom to Counter Negative Global Market Trends

The Gazprom Board of Directors took note of the information on the Company's financial strategy under the conditions of negative trends in the global financial

Sea Dispute Sparks China Diplomat to Vietnam Visit

China's top diplomat to visit Vietnam again amid sea dispute   China's top diplomat will visit Vietnam next week, China said on Friday, five months after he last

A History of U.S. Oil Export Controls

On Oct. 20, 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia imposed a total embargo on oil shipments to the United States among other countries in response to their support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli war.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes Coal up More Than 12% in September

Lake Carriers’ Association reported that coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 3 million tons in September, an increase of more than 12 percent compared to a year ago.

New Research Vessel Delivered on the Great Lakes

The new oceanographic research and fisheries assessment vessel, Arcticus, completed her sea trials and was delivered to the U.S. Geological Survey's Great Lakes Science Center on October 17.

Port of Cleveland Approves Refinancing

The Port of Cleveland’s Board of Directors voted today to provide up to $161 million to support the combined refinancing of four previous economic development projects,

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2597 sec (4 req/sec)