Contact: Stephanie Balian


NOAA Hosts Renowned Explorer Robert Ballard During Visit to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary/underwater Preserve


Undersea exploerer Robert Ballard is slated to visit Alpena, Michigan in conjunction with the Institute for Exploration's shipwreck mapping survey in the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve.

During his stay in Alpena, Ballard will also meet with a group of Alpena and Alcona high school students on the R/V Lake Guardian, the 180-foot U. S. Environmental Protection Agency vessel used to conduct the mapping survey of the sanctuary/preserve. Ballard will introduce the students to underwater technology and NOAA and EPA personnel will discuss Great Lakes research efforts. This event will follow the media session, and reporters will have an opportunity to take photos of the students during this educational event.

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m
World-renowned underwater explorer and Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard will be available for interviews.

2:00 p.m.
The R/V Lake Guardian will be open to the public from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for tours.

7:30 p.m.
Ballard will present a slide show at the Alpena Community College Auditorium highlighting his deepwater expeditions around the world. (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)


Friday, June 22, 2001
12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


145 Water Street
Alpena, Mich.
On the R/V Lake Guardian,
docked behind the Sanctuary/Preserve office

Robert Ballard, undersea explorer, author and CEO of the Institute for Exploration


Ballard, founder and president of IFE, has been involved in numerous high-profile maritime archaeological expeditions including the discovery of the Titanic. He is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve was designated
in October 2000 to protect a nationally significant collection of underwater cultural

The mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System is to conserve, protect, and enhance the biodiversity, ecological integrity, and cultural legacy of special places in America's oceans and Great Lakes. The National Marine Sanctuary System is managed by NOAA's National Ocean Service.

For updates on the Thunder Bay exploration activities, visit

Or for more information on the National Marine Sanctuary System, visit