National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are closed to the public while the waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Safety Tips and Classes

The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a busy place with an active commercial fishing fleet, many seasonal whale watch vessels, and hundreds of cargo ships heading to or leaving from Boston Harbor. Weather and sea conditions can change quickly, turning a clear day with calm waters into a dense pea soup or a rollercoaster ride. The prudent mariner cruises or sails into the sanctuary only after taking all possible precautions, including checking weather forecasts, equipping the boat with an emergency signaling device and two-way radio, leaving a float plan with a responsible individual on shore, and making sure that all individuals on board have life preservers (and wear them whenever possible). Even better, survival suits and life rafts should also be thought of as essential equipment (especially when venturing out in months other than mid-summer).

To learn more about boating safety, visit the Coast Guard's web page via the link below. We have also provided links to listings for Coast Guard Auxiliary and Massachusetts Environmental Police boating safety courses.

If you are planning a wildlife watching trip into the sanctuary, please visit our See a Spout page to learn the five tips for safer boating around whales.

USCG Boating Safety logo

The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety (G-OPB) is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries, and property damage that occur on U.S. waterways by improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities of recreational boaters.

Safety Courses

Coast Guard Safety Courses
MA Environmental Police Safety Courses



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