In November Absolute Michigan always features shipping and shipwrecks, and while most of the stories are tragic, Great Lakes Echo has a feature about a Michigan lawmaker who hopes to sink ships to boost tourism revenue:
Some tourism officials question if the expensive and lengthy process of cleaning and sinking a vessel or aircraft will provide enough economic revenue. Others are concerned about environmental impacts.
But with nearly 10,000 shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes, recreational diving is already a popular activity in the state.
“Recreational diving tourism is a huge tax revenue source in other states such as Florida and California,” said Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin.
MacMasters has introduced a bill to help fund the process of seeking old vessels from naval yards, and preserving and cleaning them. They would then be transported to a Great Lakes location and sunk.
“The idea is to bring in more recreational divers to Michigan,” MacMaster said.
Read on for some thoughts from dive shop owners and an archaeologist with the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. For a look at what Great Lakes diving is like, check out this video featuring a dive at the Straits of Mackinac on the Sandusky and the Martin Stalker, two ships that sank in the 1800s.