Gov. Evers announces final designation of Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary

MANITOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in partnership with the state of Wisconsin, officially designated the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary (WSCNMS).

This follows the close of a 45 day review period of continuous session of Congress that began on June 23, with the publishing of the final rule.

“The official designation of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary is a tremendous victory for our state,” said Gov. Evers. “After years of hard work and bumps along the way, I am thrilled to join in celebrating the designation of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast Marine Sanctuary, which will be one of only two designated national marine sanctuaries in the Great Lakes. This achievement was fueled by the passion of those determined to see this project over the finish line, and I commend and congratulate the local communities and elected leaders who made this possible for our state.”

The WSCNMS will be co-managed by the state and NOAA and will provide an opportunity to renew the appreciation of the state's Great Lakes' maritime heritage and history, officials say.

“Lake Michigan has long been a gateway for Wisconsin to the rest of the world. Preserving these shipwrecks ensures that generations to come can not only enjoy the beauty of our fresh coast but learn about the role our waterways played in establishing Wisconsin as a manufacturing hub of the Midwest,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “This dedication will bring new opportunities for research and resources for educational programming, so our kids have access to world-class, hands-on learning and visitors from near and far can enjoy this remarkable shoreline.”

The governor joined federal, state, and local leaders to celebrate the designation at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc on Saturday, Oct. 9. 

“This is a great day for the State of Wisconsin and the local communities this National Marine Sanctuary impacts,” said Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels. “Governor Evers and Senator Baldwin have been staunch advocates for this designation from day one, and I personally want to thank them for their hard work to bring us to today.”

The WSCNMS spans 962 square miles and will protect 36 historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources. For more information, click here

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