Site Characterization of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an area of approximately 638 square nautical miles (2181 square kilometers; 842 square miles) of ocean waters, and the submerged lands there under, over and around Stellwagen Bank and other submerged features, off the coast of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

A combination of physical and oceanographic characteristics in this area result in cycles of biological productivity that support exceptionally large and diverse populations of fish, seasonal populations of cetaceans (including several classified as endangered) and seabirds. The proximity to land and accessibility of this biologically rich and diverse system have attracted high levels of human activity, principally, commercial fishing and whalewatching.