Protecting underwater resources

Conference will examine the research potential of the region’s coastal areas

| Author: Ari Harris

A three-day conference hosted by Central Michigan University will examine public access to Michigan's underwater cultural resources and the research potential they hold.

The Underwater Cultural Resources Public Access and Research Conference, held Feb. 25-27 at the Courtyard by Marriott Mount Pleasant at CMU, will highlight current research, engage constituents and stakeholders in discussing 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 underwater cultural resources 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.

Free and open to the public

The conference is open to the public free of charge. Guests are welcome to attend one day, one presentation or the entire conference.

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.

The conference is hosted by the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

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