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, and meeting planners from across Michigan convened at the annual conference in Grand Rapids to discuss and better understand the latest trends and changes in the industry, including ways to make travel more accessible and inclusive for a diverse range of travelers. 
Presented to the sanctuary superintendent at a well-attended ceremony, the “Pure Award” recognizes a Michigan entity that has pioneered the incorporation of innovative and exemplary best practices in natural, cultural, and heritage stewardship into daily operations. According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the sanctuary is a unique destination involving local communities, while also providing an international draw to the first freshwater national marine sanctuary in the nation, changing the face of Michigan tourism locally, regionally, and statewide. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was also recognized for working to preserve and protect the Great Lakes by fostering best practices in freshwater diving and working collaboratively to address the effects of climate change on the Great Lakes.
Image: Sanctuary superintendent Jeff Gray accepts the “Pure Award” at annual Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Credit: Michigan Economic Development Corporation