Alpena — Two grants worth $200,000 aim to expand educational and tourism opportunities at northern Michigan’s national marine sanctuary.

The Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary say the money comes from the Besser Foundation. Foundation officials say the money supports projects that represent two of its funding priorities.

One grant will go toward educational technology enhancements and a science, technology, engineering and math educator for the Lady Michigan. The Lady Michigan is a glass-bottom boat that explores Lake Huron shipwrecks and serves as a “floating laboratory” for students.

The other grant will help buy and install a water filtration system for the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center’s dive tank. Installation is expected to be done in time for the American Association of Underwater Scientists conference in September at the Alpena center.

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