U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Michigan Islands
National Wildlife Refuge

common tern on nest

Lakes Michigan and Huron, MI   
E-mail: michiganislands@fws.gov
Phone Number: 906-586-9851, 989-777-5930
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Common terns nest on Michigan Islands Refuge.
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Shoe and Pismire islands in Lake Michigan and Scarecrow Island in Lake Huron were the first acquired. Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron was added in 1965 by a U.S. Coast Guard/Fish and Wildlife Service agreement.

The U.S. Coast Guard ceded Lake Michigan's Gull Island to the Service in 1969. A sixth island was added to the refuge in 1995, when the Nature Conservancy transferred Hat Island in Lake Michigan to the Service. Big and Little Charity islands in Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay were added to the refuge in 1999.

In 2000, Scarecrow and Thunder Bay islands were designated part of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve. The designation gives Federal protection to over 100 well-preserved shipwrecks that litter the bottom of Thunder Bay, located near Alpena, MI. Once part of a major shipping channel, this 448-square-mile sanctuary is the first national marine sanctuary in fresh water and is located in an area that was known as "Shipwreck Alley" in the 1800s.

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