Sanctuary Advisory Council

Under provisions of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Secretary of Commerce is authorized to establish sanctuary advisory councils. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary established a new council on October 3, 2001.

The Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) is a community-based body that advises the sanctuary superintendent on issues relevant to the effective implementation of the sanctuary management plan. The council is the formal organizational link to the sanctuary's user community and others interested in the management of this nationally significant area of the marine environment.

Duties of the council include:

  • Providing advice and recommendations to the superintendent regarding management of the sanctuary drawing upon the expertise of its members and other sources;
  • Serving as liaisons between their communities and the sanctuary by keeping sanctuary staff informed of issues and concerns, as well as performing outreach to their respective communities on the sanctuary's behalf;
  • Serving as a forum for consultation and deliberation among its members and as a source of consensus advice to the superintendent.

The council membership is to be made up of 17 non-governmental voting members, one non-voting youth member, and seven governmental ex-officio members (non-voting).

The non-governmental members are selected to represent local user groups, conservation and other public interest organizations, scientific and educational organizations, or members of the public interested in the protection and multiple use management of sanctuary resources. Representatives from the following groups have been chosen:

  • At-Large (3)
  • Business/Industry (1)
  • Conservation (2)
  • Diving (1)
  • Education (2)
  • Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing (1)
  • Marine Transportation (1)
  • Maritime Heritage (1)
  • Mobile Gear Commercial Fishing (1)
  • Recreational Fishing (1)
  • Research (2)
  • Whale Watch (1)
  • Youth (1)

The governmental members represent agencies with regulatory authorities or other direct interests in the Sanctuary and its resources. The member organizations are:

  • GARFO Office of Law Enforcement
  • Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (federal fisheries and protected species management)
  • New England Fishery Management Council (federal fisheries management planning)
  • U.S. Coast Guard (federal marine resources and maritime enforcement)
  • Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (state-federal ocean management consistency)
  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (state ocean fisheries management)
  • Massachusetts Division of Law Enforcement (cooperative state-federal environmental law enforcement)

For more information about the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, please refer to the charter.