A draft management plan and environmental assessment for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary was released on November 30th 2021 by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. The draft management plan, prepared with input from the Sanctuary Advisory Council and the public, revises the sanctuary’s 2010 management plan.
NOAA is accepting comments from the public until January 21st 2022.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 842-square-miles of open water, located east of Boston, between Cape Ann and Cape Cod. Stellwagen Bank, the geographic feature at the centre of the sanctuary, is a critical factor in forcing upwelling currents that bring nutrients to the surface, creating a productive ecosystem in the region.
Why is this important?
Over the last decade, the sanctuary’s natural and cultural resources and environmental conditions have changed, creating new challenges for protecting resources and facilitating compatible use. At the same time, new tools for effective management have emerged, driven by scientific advances, technological innovation, and new partnerships. An evaluation of requirements and approaches, both current and future, ensure that sanctuary managers and partners are making the most effective use of programmatic resources.