S 485

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 485

To expand the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 3, 2011

Mr. LEVIN (for himself and Ms. STABENOW) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To expand the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve Boundary Modification Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve in Lake Huron contains more than 100 recorded historic vessel losses.

      (2) The areas immediately surrounding the Sanctuary, including the offshore waters of Presque Isle and Alcona counties, Michigan, contain an equal number of historic vessel losses.

      (3) Many of these shipwrecks and underwater cultural resources are popular recreational diving destinations and all contribute to our collective maritime heritage.

      (4) These resources are susceptible to damage from human activities and must be properly preserved for their innate value and to protect the economic viability of their contribution to national and regional economies.

    (b) Purposes- The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to expand the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve boundaries to encompass the offshore waters of Presque Isle and Alcona counties, Michigan, and outward to the international border between the United States and Canada; and

      (2) to provide the underwater cultural resources of those areas equal protection to that currently afforded to the Sanctuary.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) SANCTUARY- The term `Sanctuary' means the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve.

      (2) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Commerce.

SEC. 4. SANCTUARY BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT.

    (a) Boundary Adjustment- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 922.190 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Sanctuary shall consist of the geographic area described in subsection (b).

    (b) Expanded Sanctuary Boundary- The area referred to in subsection (a) is all submerged lands, including the underwater cultural resources, lakeward of the mean high water line, within the boundaries of a line formed by connecting points in succession beginning at a point along the mean high water line located approximately at 45.6262N, 84.2043W at the intersection of the northern Presque Isle and northeastern Cheboygan County boundary, then north to a point approximately 45.7523N, 84.2011W, then northeast to a point approximately 45.7777N, 84.1231W, then due east to the international boundary between the United States and Canada approximately located at 45.7719N, 83.4840W then following the international boundary between the United States and Canada in a generally southeasterly direction to a point located approximately at 44.5128N, 82.3295W, then due west to a point along the mean high water line located approximately at 44.5116N, 83.3186W at the intersection of the southern Alcona County and northern Iosco County boundary, returning to the first point along the mean high water line.

    (c) Authority To Make Minor Adjustments- The Secretary may make minor adjustments to the boundary described in subsection (b) to facilitate enforcement and clarify the boundary to the public if the resulting boundary is consistent with the purposes described in section 2(b).

    (d) Inclusion in the National Marine Sanctuary System- The area described in subsection (b), as modified in accordance with subsection (c), shall be managed as part of the National Marine Sanctuary System established by section 301(c) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431(c)), in accordance with that Act.

    (e) Updated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Charts- The Secretary shall--

      (1) produce updated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charts for the area in which the Sanctuary is located; and

      (2) include on such charts the boundaries of the Sanctuary described in subsection (b), as modified in accordance with subsection (c).

SEC. 5. EXTENSION OF REGULATIONS AND MANAGEMENT.

    (a) Regulations- The regulations applicable to the Sanctuary codified in subpart R of part 922 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, shall apply to the geographic area added to the Sanctuary pursuant to section 4, unless the Secretary specifies otherwise by regulation.

    (b) Existing Certifications- The Secretary may certify that any license, permit, approval, other authorization, or right to conduct a prohibited activity authorized pursuant to section 922.194 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, that exists on the date of the enactment of this Act shall apply to such an activity conducted within the geographic area added to the Sanctuary pursuant to section 4.

    (c) Date of Sanctuary Designation- For purposes of section 922.194 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, the date of Sanctuary designation shall be the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (d) Management Plan- To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall apply the management plan in effect for the Sanctuary on the date of the enactment of this Act to the geographic area added to the Sanctuary pursuant to section 4.

END