Let us be your guide for things to do and see in NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Since there are no land areas associated with the sanctuary, a visit requires a vessel. Be aware that small watercraft may not be safe when winds and waves are strong. Plan carefully before venturing out on the water. We also provide ways to visit the sanctuary without getting wet through exhibits and public programs.

Things To Do

People whale watching from a boat
From whale watching and bird watching to exploring visitor centers, there is something for everyone at the sanctuary.

Sea and Air Conditions

Boat in the middle of the ocean
Know Before You Go -- check weather and ocean conditions before venturing out into the sanctuary
Razorbills fly over the ocean
Razorbills fly over rough winter water at the sanctuary. Photo: Peter Flood

When planning a trip into Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, please check forecasts for weather and marine conditions. View real-time oceanographic and meteorological data from the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and NOAA’s National Data Buoy system.

NERACOOS offers data from its own buoys and a wide array of other installations, including NOAA’s National Data Buoys.

NERACOOS A01 – This buoy is located in the northwest corner of the sanctuary approximately 7 nautical miles southeast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Locate the buoy on the NERACOOS map.

UNH Wave Buoy - Jeffrey’s Ledge - This buoy, located just a few miles off the northeast corner of the sanctuary, provides wave data and water temperature. The NERACOOS map also provides links to NOAA buoys and the Cornell Bioacoustic Research Program’s Listening Buoys in the Boston Traffic Separation Scheme (shipping lanes)

NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center reports information from Buoy 44018 in the southeast corner of the sanctuary and Buoy 44013 (located between Boston Harbor and the western boundary of the sanctuary.

BUOY 44018 (southeast corner of the sanctuary)

BUOY 44013 (between Boston and western boundary of sanctuary)

BUOY 44029 (this is NERACOOS Buoy A01)

NOAA’s National Weather Service provides marine forecasts for regions around the nation, including New England waters, and offers national marine sanctuary specific weather reports and forecasts.

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary marine forecast (zone forecast).

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary marine forecast (point forecast).

Beaufort Wind Scale and Sea States