Sanctuary Offices & Visitor Center Closed to the Public

For the health and safety of our guests, volunteers, and employees, and as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the offices and visitor center will be closed to the public until further notice. We will continue to reassess the situation. We understand this closure is an inconvenience for visitors, and we apologize. Our top priority is the health of our guests who come to learn about Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and the National Marine Sanctuary System, as well as the staff and volunteers who support our visitor center. If you have further questions about the closure and TBNMS, please call 989-884-6200


If you love the Great Lakes, join the Friends! Dedicated to sustaining the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s fresh waters and nationally significant collection of more than 200 shipwrecks, the Friends of TBNMS needs your help! Join us in supporting a dynamic range of education, community outreach, and research activities focused on protecting the Great Lakes.


Explore the many ways to experience Great Lakes shipwrecks, lighthouses, fossil beds, and more.



Discover fascinating learning opportunities about marine science, technology, and archaeology for all ages here.



Dive deeper to learn about the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s underwater shipwreck museum.



Donate Now

Thunder Bay’s Signature Events

Maritime Festival

Maritime Festival


ROV Competition

Film Festival

Film Festival

Summer Programs

Upcoming Events

Battle of the Paddles

July 3 @ 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest

July 4 @ 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Maritime Festival

July 4 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cardboard Boat Regatta

July 4 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

“Great experience! Highly recommend it!”

Diana Bergen Thornburg

“What an incredible blessing to this town! Always love this place and the beautiful sincere staff. Thank you!!!”

Tim Hauff

“It was a blast! Captain Spencer and crew were very fun and informative about some of northern Michigan’s history.”

Trevor Hoon

Whats Happening at Thunder Bay

Glass Artists Donate Art to Raise Support

By |November 21st, 2019|Categories: Donation|Tags: , , , |

Glass Artists Donate Art to Raise Support for Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Alpena, Mich. -- When 45th Parallel Glass Works and Gallery owners Peggy and Augie Matuzak heard the Friends of Thunder [...]

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2019 MATE ROV Competition: The Results Are In!

By |May 13th, 2019|Categories: MATE ROV Competition|Tags: , |

First Place Ranger Class Underwater Research Robots (UR2) Alpena High School, Alpena, MI First Place Navigator Class RC ROV Rogers City Schools, Rogers City, MI First Place Scout Class Educational Robotics [...]

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2019 MATE ROV Great Lakes Regional Competition

By |May 11th, 2019|Categories: Education, MATE ROV Competition|Tags: , , |

MEDIA ADVISORY MATE ROV Great Lakes Regional Competition helps students learn importance and application of underwater technology May 10, 2019 — MATE Great Lakes Regional ROV Competition is challenging local students to create an underwater [...]

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Tribute to U.S. Senator Hollings

By |April 11th, 2019|Categories: Awarded Grants, Education, Management|

Remembering a NOAA Champion for Protecting Coastal and Ocean Special Places Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings Played Lead Role in Establishing NOAA as Federal Agency As a recent recipient of the Ernest F. Hollings Ocean [...]

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