The Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary sits at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay. Our mission is to conserve, protect and enhance the biological diversity, ecological integrity and cultural legacy of the sanctuary while facilitating compatible use.
The Pilgrims came to the Plimoth Colony seeking religious freedom, but also the economic potential of bountiful fish stocks in the local waters. Stellwagen Bank and offshore banks, including Georges and Grand, drew fishing vessels from the ports of Boston , Salem , Beverly, Marblehead and Gloucester .
Today, commercial fishing vessels from Maine to New Jersey regularly visit these waters, while legions of recreational fishermen also try their hand at cod, tuna and other species. For more information about historic fishing in the Stellwagen Bank area, visit our sections on Maritime History, the “History of Marine Animal Populations” research program and our pages on commercial fishing and recreational fishing.
The sanctuary lies within Massachusetts Bay, 25 miles (40 km) east of Boston, 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Gloucester, and 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Visit the website for more information. For information regarding openings during the current Covid-19 crisis visit https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/coronavirus/