Diving the Alger Underwater Preserve
The Alger Underwater Diving Preserve at Munising was the first preserve established in Michigan and is one of the most popular scuba-diving areas in the Great Lakes. This Underwater Preserve offers several unusual diving attractions including intact shipwrecks, sea caves and underwater interpretive trails.
The sea caves are actually portions of underwater sandstone cliffs where sandstone has been eroded by waves. Although the caves are shallow, usually only about 20 feet deep, they offer spectacular shallow water diving opportunities.
Many of the wreck sites located within the Alger Preserve are protected from Superior’s temperament by Grand Island. Very seldom are dive trips cancelled because of weather. Underwater visibility in the Alger Preserve is considered to be among the best in the Midwest. Thirty feed of visibility at a depth of 100 feet is not uncommon. Mooring buoys and descent lines at all primary dive sites, wrecks at safe diving depths and an emergency evacuation plan all contribute to make the Alger Preserve a safe place to dive.
Primary Dive Sites
A 150-foot wooden schooner that sank in the spring of 1870 in Murray’s Bay on Grand Island, is very popular dive site for beginners to advanced divers. Although this wreck lies in only 30 feet of water, it is protected from ice and wave damage by Grand Island. The schooner sits upright with her top deck only 1q2 feet below the water’s surface.
The Smith Moore
A 260-foot three-masted steamer which sank in the Munising East Channel in July 1889. She rests intact in about 100 feet of water with visibility of 20-40 feet. Divers with intermediate to advanced skills will enjoy this wreck.
The Herman H. Hettler
A 235-foot wooden streamer, wrecked in November 1926 when she was seeking shelter in Munising Harbor and slammed into a reef. She is located in 30-40 foot depths with outstanding visibility.
A grain carrying 251-foot steel bulk freight steamer, the Kiowa was hit by a gale in November 1929. Because she is located at 20-40 foot depths, on a clear day the huge sections of hull are easily visible from the surface.
This wood-hulled freighter sank in October 1903, and is now in 20-40 foot depths off the east shore of Grand Island.
Steven M. Selvick
A 71-foot steel tug was intentionally sunk off Trout Point in May 1996 in the Alger Underwater Preserve. She is totally intact in 60 feet of water and rises to within 30 feet of the surface, making this a great dive for beginners or experts. Captain Peter Lindquist of Shipwreck Diving Tours was responsible, in large part, for adding the Steven M. Selvick to the Alger Underwater Diving Preserve.