Researchers from NOAA, the state of Michigan, and Ocean Exploration Trust have discovered an intact shipwreck resting hundreds of feet below the surface of Lake Huron. Located within NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the shipwreck has been identified as the sailing ship Ironton. Magnificently preserved by the cold freshwater of the Great Lakes, the 191-foot Ironton rests upright with its three masts still standing. Learn more about the discovery.

Upcoming Events

Underwater Robot Academy

June 11 @ 9:00 am - June 13 @ 12:00 pm

ROV Drop-In

June 18 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Archaeology Adventure! (Ages 8-10)

June 25 @ 9:00 am - June 26 @ 12:00 pm

Archaeology Adventure! (Ages 11-13)

June 25 @ 9:00 am - June 26 @ 12:00 pm

ROV Drop-In

June 26 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

ROV Drop-In

July 2 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Learn to Snorkel (Ages 13-17)

July 9 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learn to Snorkel (Ages 8-12)

July 9 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Whats Happening at Thunder Bay

High School Team Deploys Autonomous Mini Boat for Research

By |June 2nd, 2023|Categories: Education, Research|

For the first time since 2019, students from StockbridgeHigh School’s InvenTeam were back in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS), this time deploying their mini boat, Fautasi, from the glass-bottom boat Lady Michigan on May 25, 2023. Four students [...]

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ROV Competition Results

By |May 23rd, 2023|Categories: Education, MATE ROV Competition|Tags: |

The results are in!  Today in Alpena, 13 student teams competed in the MATE Great Lakes Regional ROV Competition, hosted by NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This annual event encourages students from all over the Great [...]

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Sanctuary Wins Top Sustainable Tourism Award

By |April 14th, 2023|Categories: Event, Governments, Management, Superintendent|Tags: , |

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was recognized for their exemplary contributions to sustainable tourism practices with a "Pure Award" at the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference in Tourism. More than 600 tourism representatives, economic development professionals, [...]

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Thunder Bay’s Signature Events

Maritime Festival

Maritime Festival


ROV Competition

Film Festival

Film Festival

Summer Programs

“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
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