Proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA is asking the public to comment on the possibility of designating a national marine sanctuary in eastern Lake Ontario to protect historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources. The agency will hold four public meetings on the proposal announced on April 17, 2019, in the Federal Register. This is the first step in the designation process.
The proposed 1,700-square-mile sanctuary, adjacent to Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga, and Wayne counties, would protect 21 known shipwrecks and one military aircraft representing events spanning more than 200 years of our nation's history. An additional 47 shipwrecks and two aircraft are also likely located within the proposed sanctuary boundaries, based on historical records.
The proposed sanctuary also includes a separate area surrounding the HMS Ontario, which is both the oldest confirmed shipwreck (1780) and the only fully-intact British warship discovered in the Great Lakes.
The public is invited to weigh in on the proposal during a comment period through July 31, 2019.
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