NOAA 2002-064
Contact: Ellen Brody
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the state of Michigan announced the hiring of Jefferson J. Gray as manager of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve in Lake Huron. Gray begins his work with the Sanctuary in Alpena, Mich., on July 15, 2002. As manager for the nation's first Great Lakes Sanctuary, Gray will oversee monitoring and preservation of the shipwrecks and other significant cultural resources in Thunder Bay. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department.

"Jeff's talents will ensure the success of the Sanctuary's federal/state
partnership," said Michigan Governor John Engler. "His experience is an excellent fit for this Sanctuary."

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve was designated in October 2000. The designation established a partnership between NOAA and the state of Michigan for the cooperative management and protection of Thunder Bay's cultural resources. As partners, NOAA and the state of Michigan work with local agencies as well as private and nonprofit organizations to protect these resources, develop educational activities centered on Lake Huron's maritime heritage and conduct research to further identify and interpret the area's shipwrecks. For more information, please visit:

"We are pleased to have Jeff join the National Marine Sanctuary Program in managing some of the nation's most treasured cultural resources," said Daniel J. Basta, director of the National Marine Sanctuary Program." Jeff has the experience and leadership skills to make the Thunder Bay Sanctuary a national model for interpreting and protecting shipwrecks."

Gray has a strong background in research, management, and protection. Serving as State Underwater Archaeologist at the Wisconsin Historical Society since 1998, Gray managed a statewide cultural resource program and developed and implemented the Wisconsin Maritime Trails system. He also acted as a scientific diver and lab technician for NOAA's National Undersea Research Center in Key Largo, Fla. in addition to conducting other archaeological work in North Carolina, Wisconsin, the Dominican Republic, Chile and Greece. Gray also has extensive experience developing partnerships among and working with government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, and user groups. In particular, he worked with these entities to interpret Wisconsin's maritime history and preserve underwater archaeological sites. Gray has published numerous articles in the field of Great Lakes underwater archaeology. He serves on numerous associated boards and committees.

Gray received a B.A. in Anthropology and Archeology from Wisconsin's Beloit College and a M.A. in Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology from North Carolina's East Carolina University.

The National Marine Sanctuary Program, established in 1972 by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, is administered by the National Ocean Service (NOAA Ocean Service). The goal of the Sanctuaries Act is to set aside and manage areas for resource protection, research, enhanced public education and compatible public and private uses. Today, 13 national marine sanctuaries encompass more than 18,000 square miles of America's ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

NOAA Ocean Service manages the National Marine Sanctuary Program and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving, and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans. NOAA Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards. To learn more about NOAA Ocean Service and the National Marine Sanctuary Program, please visit