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Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary Designation: Final Environmental Impact Statement and Final Management Plan
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    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.) and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA, 16 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq.), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) that analyzes alternatives for the proposed designation of an area of Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan as a national marine sanctuary. This action addresses NOAA’s responsibilities under the NMSA to identify, designate, and protect areas of the marine and Great Lakes environment with special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archaeological, educational, or aesthetic qualities as national marine sanctuaries. NOAA has developed five alternatives for the sanctuary designation, and this FEIS evaluates the environmental consequences of each alternative under NEPA. The FEIS also serves as a resource assessment under the NMSA, documenting present and potential uses of the areas analyzed in the alternatives. NOAA’s preferred alternative would designate 962 square miles of Lake Michigan to protect a nationally significant collection of historic shipwrecks and associated underwater cultural resources. No significant adverse impacts to resources in the human environment would be expected under any of the alternatives. Long-term beneficial impacts are anticipated if the proposed designation is finalized.
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