2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

May 26, 2023 through September 4, 2023


Stellwagen Bank
National Marine Sanctuary

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a wild ocean place near an urban world, sits east of Boston, Massachusetts between Cape Ann and Cape Cod. Historically important as a fishing ground, New England's only national marine sanctuary now reigns as a premier whale watching destination and continues to support commercial and recreational fishing. Its shipwrecks serve as time capsules of our nation's maritime history.

A Whale of a Time

A breaching humpback whale
A humpback whale breaches in SBNMS. Photo: SBNMS/Ari Friedlaender, NOAA Research Permit #14245

Thinking of going on a whale watch? Visit our whale watching pages to prepare for your trip. Check WHALESENSE to find environmentally responsible companies. Learn about local whale research.


A Gray fish with teeth peers out of a small opening
A wolffish peers out of its den. Photo: SBNMS/Matthew Lawrence

The sanctuary supports sustainable recreational fishing. Check regulations before heading out. Learn about local species, and find out about funding opportunities for education, outreach, and research projects that promote sustainable, ethical recreational fishing.


Immerse yourself in the ocean and your national marine sanctuaries without getting wet!

Dive Into Stellwagen Bank

National Marine Sanctuary System

national marine sanctuary system map

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. The network includes a system of 15 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.