Our Purpose

Our Purpose

Who We Are

Stellwagen Alive! is on a mission—a mission to preserve Stellwagen Bank and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. We are all at risk of losing this backyard undersea treasure that we’ve depended on for centuries.

Formed in 2007 as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, we actively partner with fishermen, scientists and local communities for ongoing efforts to save New England's unique marine sanctuary.

We seek to preserve Stellwagen's:

Ecological Integrity: The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is at the heart of the Gulf of Maine Ecosystem.  The Sanctuary’s most prominent physical feature, Stellwagen Bank is a long shallow sand ridge – in some places only sixty feet deep!  Steep canyons, deep mud basins and boulder reefs, remnants of the last ice-age, mark a fantastic undersea landscape rich with life.  Continuously shaped by tides and currents, the Sanctuary is core habitat for both resident and migratory species from the bottom to the top of the ocean food web.

Biological Diversity: The coexistence of unique geographic features and oceanographic forces, which occur in only a handful of locations on our planet, draw a breathtaking variety of fish, birds and marine mammals – over 500 species in total.  Exploding with plankton, abundant with sand lance, herring and mackerel, Stellwagen is a feeding ground for giant bluefin tuna, threatened Humpback and Fin Whales, and rare sea turtles.  Half the population of North Atlantic Right Whales, one of the most endangered animals in the sea, visit Stellwagen every year to feed and nurse their young.

Economic Legacy: Stellwagen Bank has been one of the most productive fishing grounds in the northeast since the first European settlers arrived on our shores. Many thousands of commercial fishermen have plied Stellwagen’s waters in order to feed New England families. Though the number of fishing boats has been reduced due to federal restrictions, Stellwagen remains a key economic driver of our economy.

Cultural Legacy: With over 18 documented shipwrecks, 4 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Stellwagen also provides a rich historical resource for humans.

Learn more about the sanctuary and its history or view photos and videos of Stellwagen at Play.

What We Do

Stellwagen Bank cannot thrive without human help. Our goal to is to raise public awareness of sanctuary resources and management issues through ongoing efforts, including:

Preservation & Cleanup
Research & Programs
Education & Outreach

In our Stellwagen Sweep program, we work with local fishermen to clean up abandoned fishing debris, ensuring both their livelihood and Stellwagen's health.

And in our Acoustic Validation Study, we are working with scientists to map the effects of ocean noise on marine wildlife, with a view towards improving the underwater landscape. 

Using funding from individuals, as well as public and private sources on projects like these, we aim to make Stellwagen Bank a shining example of marine stewardship.

How You Can Help

As a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, Stellwagen Alive! relies entirely on donations, members and volunteers to help us in our efforts to conserve Stellwagen's irreplaceable marine habitat. 

Getting involved is easy!

•    Individual Membership
•    Corporate Membership
•    Volunteer
•    Donate
•    Report Marine Debris
•    Collect Marine Debris
•    Intern
•    Contact Us

And don't forget to visit our what's happening page or sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our newest initiatives.

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