Today, thanks to the naturally preservative properties of the lake, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has been able to document a natural, physical timeline of ship architecture from the roughly 300 shipwrecks at the bottom of Champlain. The lake is a glacial scar, making it very deep, so many shipwrecks are very deep as well. At these depths, the ships are not subject to disturbance from the surface, such as ice or currents. The lake water is naturally slightly basic, preventing corrosion to wood and metal by acid. Also, the lake is oligotrophic, or nutrient-poor, which prevents large algae blooms which, when they died, would sink and provide organic matter and energy to microbes living at the bottom of the lake that consume lignin in wood or corrode iron. The museum's research and education efforts provide an important window into an often overlooked chapter of United States history that spans nearly a century.