Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Data Center Description
The Gerry E. Studds-Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's mission is to conserve, protect, and enhance the biodiversity, ecological integrity, and cultural legacy of this 842-square-mile stretch of open water and the seafloor below located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay.
The Gerry E. Studds-Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is one of 13 sites in a system of special marine areas selected for their ecological, recreational, historical, and/or aesthetic values. The designation was made to promote comprehensive long-term management of the resources to ensure that they survive for the use and enjoyment of future generations.
Stellwagen Bank was selected as a member for its historical importance as a fishing ground and its more recent fame as a whalewatching destination. In 1996, the World Wildlife Fund named the area one of its ten top whalewatching sites in the world (and the only one in the continental United States). It is believed that close to a million people now take commercial wildlife viewing trips out to Stellwagen Bank annually.