“Ohio’s first shipwreck preserve, proposed to safeguard some 20 wrecks around Kelleys Island in western Lake Erie, has been under consideration for more than a year with no visible sign of dissent.

The idea is to establish some basic rules for divers, boaters and fishermen in and around these shallow- water wrecks, most of which were commercial vessels that went aground or sank near the island between 1847 and 1911.

Shipwreck preserves also would educate Ohioans on their maritime heritage.

Kelleys Island is already on the National Register of Historic Places but none of the lake’s estimated 1,700 wrecks are, according to state preservation officer Franco Ruffini.

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