The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) directs Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to take an ecosystem-based approach to management with the primary mandate of resource protection. We work with communities, ocean users, federal and state agencies, and non-governmental organizations to sustain and improve the health of the Stellwagen Bank region. We take special interest in protecting our heritage resources for future generations and our whales -- the charismatic animals that attract many visitors and support important ecotourism and recreation industries. A healthy ocean and coastal environment supports healthy American communities.
Learn about the agencies that enforce sanctuary and environmental laws.
Programs to protect whales from vessel strikes, harassment from whale watching, noise and entanglements.
Programs and policies designed to eliminate damage to shipwrecks from fishing gear and diver interactions.
Read NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' guidelines for responsible recreation and wildlife viewing.
Learn what is needed to undertake operations that might affect resources managed by the national marine sanctuary.
Find out when agencies must formally communicate with one another if one agency's activities may affect the resources of another.
Find out about sanctuary preparations for an oil spill or other major disasters.
If you see someone violating sanctuary regulations, endangering wildlife, or causing a disturbance, here's what to do.
Learn about sanctuary actions to protect forage fish species.