U-M study finds Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary holds huge untapped economic potential for Alpena area

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena is a unique natural marine environment and historic ship graveyard with the potential to be a major tourism and new business driver in northeastern Michigan, according to U-M researchers.

U-M’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, in conjunction with several local partners in the Alpena area, recently finished an assessment on the sanctuary’s economic impact in Alpena, Alcona and Presque Isle countries, concluding its potential is great.

“A broad range of visitors and tourists and researchers come to the sanctuary from many different states and many different countries,” said Lawrence Molnar, the principal investigator. “This is the only national freshwater sanctuary on earth. It is a very unique resource and research environment.”

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