In 2015, Erie County submitted a formal request to NOAA to start the process to designate the Lake Erie waters off Erie County for status as a national marine sanctuary. In early 2016 NOAA moved the Lake Erie application on to the inventory list for consideration. There currently is only one other fresh-water marine sanctuary in the country in Lake Michigan. A marine sanctuary designation would protect the hundreds of shipwrecks in these waters, and promote Erie as a diving, tourism and educational location.
Emerge 2040 Recommendation:
Environment: “Protect the rich cultural and environmental resources found in Lake Erie and on Presque Isle and elevate their international profile by seeking national and international designations reflecting their importance.”