Columbus, Ohio Ohio Sea Grant and partners have released an update of Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, a web guide to Lake Erie’s shipwrecks, their history and location. First created in 2008, the website now features five additional shipwrecks beyond the 26 listed in the accompanying brochure, as well as 22 lighthouses and nine maritime museums along the shoreline.
The information is not only accessible via the brochure and website, but also via four interactive kiosks at popular tourist locations along the lakeshore. Kiosks are set up at the Maumee Bay State Park Nature Center in Oregon (opening later this summer), the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitors Center in Port Clinton, Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve in Huron and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village.
“The website and accompanying kiosks are designed to help Ohio residents and visitors locate and learn about the many historical, cultural and recreational shipwrecks in Ohio’s Lake Erie waters,” said Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator Joe Lucente. “As an eco-tourist interested in exploring all Lake Erie has to offer, you will be able to discover the rich maritime history that lies beneath the surface of the lake.”
Shipping has always played a large role in the economic development of Ohio and the Great Lakes region, and the history behind each shipwreck tells part of that story. Based on historical records, Lake Erie has over 1,700 shipwrecks, 277 of which have been discovered to date. Overall, more than 6,000 shipwrecks are known to have occurred in the Great Lakes.
“Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is excited bring Ohio Sea Grant’s exhibit and research to its more than 160,000 annual visitors who enjoy free admission 7 days each week,” said Catherine Timko, executive director of the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. “The interactive exhibit recognizes people’s connectedness to Lake Erie and encourages lifelong discovery of its natural history.”
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, Cleveland Underwater Explorers Inc. (CLUE) and the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team (MAST) were partners on the update project, which was funded by the ODNR Office of Coastal Management.
The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 34 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.
Cover image courtesy of Richard J. Wright, Great Lakes Marine Collection, via the Institute for Great Lakes Research at Bowling Green State University