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Panel OKs Lake Michigan underwater preserve

INDIANAPOLIS – The site of a 1911 shipwreck 600 feet offshore of Indiana Dunes State Park shoreline has become the state’s first underwater preserve.

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday gave final approval to the J.D. Marshall Nature Preserve in Porter County. The 100-acre shipwreck site is located in Lake Michigan at the site of the June 11, 1911, sinking of its namesake, a sand-hauling ship that sprung a leak and capsized in a storm, killing four crew members.

Buoys designating the four corners of the preserve are intended to keep boats from dropping anchor and possibly damaging the wreck site.

The commission on Tuesday also approved the creation of the Blossom Hollow Nature Preserve in Johnson County south of Indianapolis.

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