In 1992, Congress recognized that the resources of Stellwagen Bank are ecologically and historically significant. They designated the area a National Marine Sanctuary. As well as increasing our awareness of its rich resources, the law established the sanctuary's current boundaries which only prohibits mining and mineral extraction.
Almost the size of the state of Rhode Island, the Sanctuary encompasses an offshore area of over 842 square miles between Cape Cod and Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Centered on Stellwagen Bank, a prominent underwater plateau, the sanctuary is a dynamic oceanic area, distinct from its surroundings. You would be amazed by its astonishing marine diversity and populations. The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary also is the site of many historic shipwrecks including some listed on the National Historic Register.