The GTBUP is one of 14 underwater preserves in Michigan. Grand Traverse Bay is strategically located for maritime transportation. Its water resources made it a wise and natural choice for early lumbering and manufacturing industries that built up along the shoreline. The shelter of the Bay encouraged the subsequent growth of maritime commerce. These activities left remains of both sunken ships and commercial activity.
Today the Bay holds the remains of several lost ships as well as near shore sites with evidence of businesses that once flourished along the waterfront.