Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast
National Marine Sanctuary

Designated in 2021, Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary provides stewardship for our nation's maritime heritage in Lake Michigan. Co-managed by NOAA and the state of Wisconsin, the sanctuary expands on the state's 30-year management of these historic sites, bringing new opportunities for research, resource protection, and education. In partnership with local communities, the sanctuary provides a national stage for promoting recreation and heritage tourism.

The 36 historic shipwreck sites within the sanctuary represent vessels that played a central role in building the nation between the 1830s and 1930s. Twenty-seven are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and research suggests that another 60 shipwrecks may yet to be discovered.

Map of the Wisconsin-Lake Michigan shoreline showing the sanctuary boundaries
Map of Wisconsin's mid Lake Michigan shoreline showing the sanctuary boundaries, which encompasses 962 square miles and includes 36 known shipwreck sites.

National Marine Sanctuary System

national marine Sanctuary system map

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. The network includes a system of 15 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.