(WXYZ) — A new interactive map offers a chance to learn about the mystery surrounding shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says 1,500 shipwrecks are submerged in Michigan waters, making up one quarter of the estimated 6,000 wrecks found throughout the Great Lakes.
The Michigan Shipwrecks StoryMap highlights the shipwrecks and their lore.
“This new tool gives divers, kayakers, snorkelers and armchair explorers a chance to learn more about these underwater archaeological sites and the circumstances that led to the shipwrecks,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center. “It’s a wonderfully interactive way to help people connect with this part of Michigan’s maritime history.”
The Michigan Shipwrecks Public Web App offers a closer look at the wrecks, along with the locations of lighthouses and boating access sites.
The map offers information about each ship, including:
– The difficulty level of diving to the wreck
– Whether the wreck is accessible by kayak or canoe
– The circumstances of the sinking
– A description of the ship, with photos and drawings
Some high-profile wrecks, such as the Carl D Bradley, which sank in Lake Michigan in November 1958, are not listed. Because crew members went down with these ships, they are considered underwater burial sites.
Clark reminds the public that Michigan law prohibits removal of any artifacts from shipwrecks.
“The wrecks on the Great Lakes bottomlands belong to the people of Michigan,” she said. “If everyone follows the rule of ’take only pictures and leave only bubbles,” we can ensure that these underwater time capsules will be available for future generations to explore, research and enjoy.”