Sanctuary Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Events include photo exhibit at New England Aquarium

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of 17 sites in a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, protects iconic natural and cultural resources. Stellwagen Bank, New England's only national marine sanctuary, was created to protect a world-renowned whale watching destination and an historically important fishing ground. The sanctuary's milestone year coincides with the National Marine Sanctuary System's 50th anniversary, which is being commemorated with a variety of online resources.

Exhibits

Space to Sea: A Photographic Journey into Stellwagen Bank

Photography by Keith Ellenbogen

The centerpiece of the celebration is a free, outdoor installation at the New England Aquarium on Boston's Central Wharf, entitled "Space to Sea: A Photographic Journey into Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary," by acclaimed underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen. The exhibit of sea life photos, ranging from tiny plankton to great whales, will be on display from June 22 through November 1.

blue shark
A blue shark (Prionace glauca) comes face to face with the photographer. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
copepod
Calanoid copepods, like this individual (typical size 0.2 to 20 mm), are important prey at the base of the food web.Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen

Space to Sea brings the unique and vibrant ecosystem of the sanctuary to the local community and connects science and art through visual media, environmental storytelling, and outreach on a local and global stage.

Keith Ellenbogen is a gifted underwater photographer whose latest work celebrates the sanctuary's 30th anniversary by showcasing the dynamic marine wildlife off the coast of Massachusetts and within Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. He is an associate professor of photography at SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology; visiting artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT Sea Grant; senior fellow, International League of Conservation Photographers; fellow, The Explorers Club; and is affiliated with the New England Aquarium's Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life.

The project was made possible by a National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Award to fund Keith Ellenbogen on a  three-year exploration and characterization of the sanctuary using lens-based media technologies. The result is this outdoor exhibit—a partnership project of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, New England Aquarium, MIT Sea Grant, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

humpback whale breaching
A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaches in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
scholl of mackerel
Schools of forage fish, like these Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), are important in supporting a healthy ecosystem. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen

Lectures

The sanctuary and its partners are offering programs focusing on sanctuary species, research, and history. Check back for additions to the schedule throughout the year.

Keith Ellenbogen underwater holding a camera while a white shark swims by

June 22 at 6:30 p.m. ET – Exploring Massachusetts and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary with Photographer Keith Ellenbogen.

About: Experience the excitement of capturing images of local species by the photographer who created the new exhibit that wraps the New England Aquarium's buildings.

Location: In person at New England Aquarium Simons Theater and remotely via Zoom. This event is free!

Register


July 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET – Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's 30th Anniversary – A Sanctuary Next Door (public talk)

About: A review of some of the sanctuary's history and research highlights.

Location: Province Lands Visitor Center, Cape Cod National Seashore, Provincetown. This event is free!


August 18 at 2:00 p.m. ET – Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's 30th Anniversary – Marine Biodiversity (public talk)

About: An introduction to the marine mammals, seabirds, fishes, and other marine life.

Location: Province Lands Visitor Center, Cape Cod National Seashore, Provincetown. This event is free!


November 1 – Anniversary Celebration and Photo Exhibit Closing Ceremony

About: Special anniversary celebration program at the New England Aquarium. Save the date! More details coming soon.

Products

A variety of free materials will be available for distribution to the public via regional locations or download.

30th Anniversary Edition: Stellwagen Soundings

A 12-page newspaper that provides a concise guide to recreational activities at the site, resources, and research. Available at sanctuary headquarters in Scituate, Massachusetts or from education partners, whale watch companies, major tourism centers, or by contacting stellwagen@noaa.gov.

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Poster

Coming this fall. Available for download from the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries website.

 

 

Sanctuary Map and Whale Art by Tom Freeman Poster

Available at the sanctuary offices and from education partners. Contact stellwagen@noaa.gov for more details.