Stellwagen Bank
National Marine Sanctuary

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is recruiting for 6 General and 1 Youth vacancies on its Advisory Council. Deadline for applications is Wednesday, May 15th, 2024. More information can be found on our SAC recruitment page.

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.

Sanctuary News

Whales in Motion

In April 2024, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary staff and volunteers participated in Whales In Motion through Sound Explorations, a special interactive exhibit celebrating Massachusetts Right Whale Day at Boston’s Museum of Science. Blind and visually-impaired students and adults experienced the locomotion and foraging behavior of humpback and North Atlantic right whales through 3D sculpture models with musicians performing live. As participants ran their hands across these sculpture models, musicians performed action-specific melodies that matched the same contour and shape of the model.

Sand Lance Animation

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management partnered for groundbreaking research to understand the ecological and commercial value of sand habitat. Video Credit: BOEM/NOAA SBNMS

three people on a dock in life jackets

Annual Safety Day Training

Right whale peeking out of the water

Smelly Gas Helps Researchers Track Right Whales

an old photo of the portland docked

Remembering the Portland: 125 Years of Legacy and Learning

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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 16 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.