I serve as Vice-Chair of the Coastal Resource Advisory Council, a group of individuals who advise the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on coastal issues. As such, I often receive various press releases and I'm passing along this one which I thought was very interesting.
I don't think most people realize how much interest divers have in our Lake Erie Shipwrecks - or in the great preservative qualities of our cold, fresh water lakes. This is a growing tourist industry and it will be enhanced by this new data.
SEARCH FOR LAKE ERIE SHIPWRECKS MORE ACCURATE THANKS TO NEW TECHNOLOGY
ODNR pilot study report now available
SANDUSKY, OH - The report of a pilot study using high-frequency sound waves to locate shipwrecks in the vicinity of Kelleys Island in Lake Erie is now available, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Using side-scan sonar and Global Positioning System technologies, the Lake Erie Geology Group of ODNR’s Division of Geological Survey was able to more accurately locate and map known shipwrecks. The one-year study was undertaken to test whether side-scan sonar can help fulfill ODNR’s obligation to inventory, evaluate and protect shipwrecks. It also allowed scientists to develop methods of searching for previously unidentified shipwrecks in areas known to be treacherous for sailors.
Side-scan sonar produces an image like an aerial photograph, but at an oblique angle. Shipwrecks located and mapped during the study include the George Dunbar, Amaretta Mosher, and F.H. Prince. Four wrecks were located on the west and southwest side of Kelleys Island; the ships are assumed to be the Oak Valley, L.B. Crocker, C.H. Plummer, and the tugboat Relief, but it is unclear which ship corresponds to each location without a subsequent study.
Scientists also used the side-scan sonar to study the Gull Island Shoal, known to be the most treacherous reef in Lake Erie. Although as many as five wrecks are believed to have occurred in the vicinity of this reef, no shipwrecks were positively identified there.
“Locating and identifying Lake Erie’s cultural resources helps us preserve our maritime heritage,” said Constance Livchak, supervisor of the Lake Erie Geology Group. “We’d like