The Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve is the state of Michigan's 12th designated underwater preserve. The GTBUP encompasses the east and west arms of Grand Traverse Bay from Cathead Bay in the northwest over to Norwood in the northeast.
The Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve is an all volunteer non-profit 501 (c)3 which maintains an underwater preserve in Grand Traverse Bay. The purpose of the preserve is to promote underwater recreation and Maritime Heritage & Tourism in the Great Lakes.
The waters of the GTBUP contain shipwrecks from the 1800s up to the 1970s, historically significant cultural sites such as one of the oldest dock remains in Michigan, as well as fun dive sites like a 1970s Ford Pinto.
The Michigan Underwater Preserve system was created in 1980 through legislation supported and largely drafted by Michigan sport divers. Since then, divers have ensured that their sport will remain a high-quality activity with stiff penalties for disturbing the shipwrecks and their artifacts. It is a felony to remove or disturb artifacts in the Great Lakes. Those caught removing portholes, anchors, anchor chain, deadeyes, blocks, or other “souvenirs” will have their boat, car, and equipment confiscated immediately and will face up to two years imprisonment and stiff fines.