NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Stellwagen Bank Management Plan and
Final Environmental Impact Statement— 1993


Notes to Readers


Resource Assessment

Federal Consistency

Executive Summary

Part One: Introduction

Authority for Designation

Mission and Goals of the NMS Program

Terms of the Designation

Status of the NMS Program

History of the Proposal

Purpose and Need for Action

Part Two: Sanctuary Management Plan

Section One: Management Plan for the SBNMS


Sanctuary Goals and Objectives

Resource Protection Goals & Objectives

Research Goals & Objectives

Education Goals & Objectives

Visitor Use Goals & Objectives

Section Two: Sanctuary Setting

Regional Context

Location of Sanctuary

Regional Access

Sanctuary Resources

Environmental Conditions




Natural Resources



Benthic Organisms


Sea Turtles

Marine Mammals

Endangered Cetaceans

Non-Endangered Cetaceans



Historical and Cultural Resources

Prehistoric Cultural Resources

Historic Vessel Traffic

Historic Shipwreck Resources


Human Activities

Commercial Fishing

Regional History

Present Day Fishing

Fishing Gear

Fisheries Management

Commercial Whalewatching

Commercial Sportfishing

Recreational Boating/Tourism

Commercial Shipping

Military Activity

Offshore Oil and Gas Activity

Sand and Gravel Mining

Ocean Disposal Activities

General Disposal

Dredged Material

Fish Processing Wastes

Incineration of Trash

Ocean Discharges

Submerged Pipelines and Cables


Offshore Fixed Artificial Platforms

Research and Education

Section Three: Sanctuary Management Plan

Overall Management and Development Concept

General Context

Existing Management Programs

Regional Management

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint State/Federal Programs

International Management: GOM

Management for Resource Protection

General Context for Management

Designation Document and Regulations

Discharges and Deposits

Alteration of the Seabed

Dev. Activities for Industrial Materials

Submerged Pipelines and Cables

Incineration of Trash


Historical and Cultural Resources

Taking of Marine Mammals, Reptiles and Birds

Contingency Plans for Major Emergencies

Encouraging Compatible Uses of Sanctuary

Surveillance and Enforcement

Public Education and Information

Planning and Coordination

Management for Research

General Context for Management

Framework for Research Program

Selection and Management of Projects

Annual Sanctuary Research Plan

Research Project Monitoring Program

Information Exchange

Management for Interpretation/Education

General Context for Management

Interpretive Opportunities

Interpretive Programs

On-Site Visitor Programs

Visitor Center Programs

Outreach Programs

Section Four: Administration

Administrative Framework

Sanctuaries and Reserves Division

National Marine Fisheries Service

U.S. Coast Guard

Sanctuary Advisory Committee

Other Federal Agencies

State, Regional, and Local Agencies

Resource Protection: Roles and Responsibilities

Sanctuaries and Reserves Division

Sanctuary Manager

Sanctuary Advisory Committee

Federal Agencies

Research: Roles and Responsibilities

Sanctuaries and Reserves Division

Sanctuary Manager

Sanctuary Advisory Committee

Interpretation/Education: Roles and Responsibilities

Sanctuaries and Reserves Division

Sanctuary Manager

Sanctuary Advisory Committee

Site Administration: Roles and Responsibilities

Sanctuaries and Reserves Division

Sanctuary Manager

Federal, State, Local and Regional Agencies

Sanctuary Advisory Committee

Sanctuary Staffing and Facilities

Appendix A: Designation Document and Proposed Regulations

Appendix B: Existing Federal and State Authorities

Appendix C: Abbreviations

Appendix D: National Register of Historic Places Criteria

Appendix E: References



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