2017-06-15 / Life in Leelanau

$20,000 sought to explore leagues under the sea

While donations from community benefactors were enough to start the Maritime Archaeology and Research program, more funds are needed to keep it going.

Stef Staley, executive director of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, said the cost to lease the “Northwestern” research vessel from Northwestern Michigan College is $1,500 per day.

The goal now is to keep the program going and possibly buy a remotely controlled underwater vehicle, which would cost about $5,000.

“If I got a check tomorrow, I’d order it and it takes two weeks,” Staley said. “That would be awesome.”

She’s hoping that displays about the project at the lighthouse and Northport Visitors Center will help spark interest.

Some $10,000 has already been raised, including $3,000 pledged by the Leelanau Township Community Foundation. Staley on the lighthouse’s website wrote that another $10,000 is needed.

“Now we’re looking to raise more money because we were so successful the first time out,” Staley said.

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