The Underwater Cultural Resources Public Access and Research Conference is a three-day event that examines public access to Michigan's underwater cultural resources (UCRs) and the research potential they hold. The conference will highlight current research using UCRs, engage constituents and stakeholders in discussion of current issues fostering or inhibiting research, and develop an action plan that will direct the future study of these fragile resources while promoting public access, tourism, and management of water-dependent use in coastal communities. Michigan has emerged as a leader in UCR management with the addition of the first National Marine Sanctuary on the Great Lakes, which is co-managed by the state and federal governments. Although this has helped to better manage a finite group of underwater resources, it has also created new issues and potential partnerships that are unique to Michigan, which this conference will seek to further identify and solidify plans to address. 

The conference is free of charge and open to the public. Held at the Courtyard by Marriott at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, on February 25-27, 2020, each day has a separate theme. Attendance may be for one day, one presentation, or the whole conference. An up-to-date schedule may be found by clicking on the days listed in the right column.

Financial assistance for this project was provided, in part, by the Coastal Management Program, Water Resources Division, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, under the National Coastal Zone Management Program, through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.