SHEBOYGAN — Last week, Gov. Tony Evers announced that Sheboygan is one of the principal cities involved in a new Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The goal of the sanctuary is to preserve historical shipwrecks and promote education and tourism for the area's rich maritime history. It would span 962 square miles including the coasts of Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties protecting 36 historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources.
Many of the shipwrecks remain largely intact as a result of Lake Michigan's cold fresh water. Research also suggests that up to 60 additional undiscovered shipwrecks could exist within the area.
According to a release, the sanctuary designation is still under final review by the governor and Congress and will take effect following the 45-day period of continuous session of Congress.
"Here in Sheboygan, we are excited to start welcoming visitors to Lake Michigan communities to our Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary, which was just announced earlier this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's office," Evers said in his visit to Sheboygan on June 24. "It's an advanced designation for Wisconsin to host one of two national sanctuaries specifically for shipwreck exploration and preservation. It is not after many, many years of talk and so on we are at the final phase of review. If successful, this designation will help us highlight Wisconsin's unique and vibrant coastal communities."