Excerpt from Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Final Environmental Impact Statement/Management Plan, Vol. 1: July, 1993
Part One of this document reviews the authority for national marine sanctuary designation; the mission and goals of the National Marine Sanctuary Program; the history of this proposal's development; and the purpose and need for designating a national marine sanctuary at Stellwagen Bank.
Part Two, Section I outlines Sanctuary management goals and objectives in resource protection, research, interpretation/ education, and visitor use. Part Two, Section II describes the environmental conditions, living and non-living resources of the Sanctuary area, and the human activities occurring in the vicinity.
Part Two, Section H describes the Sanctuary setting. The boundary surrounds the entire Stellwagen Bank and includes approximately 638 square nautical miles (842 square miles). The glacially-deposited Bank feature measures approximately nautical miles miles; km) in length, and nautical miles miles; km) in width, at its widest point. Two distinct peak productivity periods produce a complex system of overlapping mid-water and benthic habitats within the sanctuary study area. Commercially important fisheries include extensive benthic, invertebrate, and pelagic species. The Bank system also provides important feeding and nursery grounds for large and small cetacean species, several of which are endangered. Diverse bird species forage at the Bank, some in direct association with feeding cetaceans and fishing vessels.
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