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Plans are in the works for the state's first underwater nature preserve off the Lake Michigan shoreline in Northwest Indiana. The Natural Resource Commission is scheduled to vote on the “J.D. Marshall Preserve” September 17, and if approved, an official dedication ceremony would happen at the end of the month. The J.D. Marshall, a 154-foot wooden commercial vessel built for the lumber trade then converted to a sand barge, capsized in a storm, killing four crew members. The site of the June 1911 shipwreck is north of the Indiana Dunes State Park. The preserve would be marked by buoys to protect the remains of ship and keep boats from dropping anchor there. The Marshall's huge cast-iron propeller is at the park, and other artifacts are on display at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center.
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