Management Plan Revision

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NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is revising the management plan for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The prior plan was issued in 2010.

Over the last decade, the sanctuary's natural and cultural resources and environmental conditions have changed, creating new challenges for protecting resources and facilitating compatible use. At the same time, new tools for effective management have emerged, driven by scientific advances, technological innovation, and new partnerships. An evaluation of requirements and approaches, both current and future, will ensure that we and our partners are making the most effective use of programmatic resources.

Public engagement is central to NOAA's community-based approach to managing sanctuaries. We solicit public input at multiple stages throughout the two- to three-year revision process. You may submit comments during public comment periods and view comments submitted under docket number NOAA-NOS-2020-0003 at Regulations.gov.

Current status

The public scoping comment period opens on February 13 and runs until April 10, 2020. Public scoping sessions are scheduled for March 11 in Boston at the New England Aquarium; March 12 in Gloucester at Maritime Gloucester on Harbor Loop; and March 18 in Buzzards Bay at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. All sessions will run from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Check back here to confirm dates, times, and locations. Online comments can be submitted via regulations.gov.

Management plan review process

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Current Step

Public scoping period and scoping meetings
February 13, 2020 - April 10, 2020

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Public comment

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Public Scoping
Sanctuary Advisory Council input

Advisory Council Graphic

Council Input

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Develop draft management plan and environmental review documents
Sanctuary Advisory Council input

Advisory Council Graphic

Council Input

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Release draft management plan, environmental review, and proposed rule

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Public review and comment on draft documents

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Public comment

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Prepare final management plan, environmental review, and final rule

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Publish final management plan, final environmental review, and final rule

How to get involved and stay informed

Keep up to date on the management plan revision process, ask questions, and receive notifications when there are opportunities for public comment by requesting to be on the project's email list. Send a note to sbnmsmanagementplan@noaa.gov.

For more information please see our FAQ page.

You may also attend public meetings of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, at which the management plan revision process will be a regular topic of discussion throughout the revision process. Request to be notified about advisory council meetings by emailing stellwagen@noaa.gov.

Reports and documents

Additional and archived documents