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Stellwagen Bank NMS Science Needs
Click on individual links below to learn more about the immediate science needs for critical management issues. For a full list of management issues and science needs, please review the SBNMS Management Plan. To contact us about the science needs described below, contact the Sanctuary Research Coordinators.

Acoustic Impacts to Resources (Updated 5/1/2010)
Increasing levels of human activity in coastal waters are accompanied by increasing levels of anthropogenic underwater sound. Many marine animals, including mammals, fish and invertebrates, use sound to communicate, navigate, and/or feed. Impacts to resources in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS or Sanctuary) due to underwater noise warrant attention and research.

Conservation of Biodiversity (Updated 5/1/2010)
Understanding how key fish and invertebrate species, seafloor communities, and associated habitats respond to a range of human impacts is critical for assessing compatible human uses within the boundaries of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS or Sanctuary) and meeting program goals focused on resource protection.

Marine Mammal Mortality and Injury (Updated 5/1/2010)
Mortality and serious injury to endangered whales occurs where ever whales co-occur with ships and commercial fishing. This includes the majority of national marine sanctuaries and is priority issue within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS or Sanctuary).

Marine Zoning - Research Area (Updated 5/1/2010)
Without a designated reference area, managers and the public have no idea what the integrity is of a natural, biological community as specified by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act or what the restoration targets for a sanctuary should be.

Fishing Impacts to Maritime Heritage Resources (Updated 5/1/2010)
Maritime heritage resources in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS or Sanctuary) are being negatively impacted by traditional fishing activities.

Vessel Traffic (Updated 5/1/2010)
The quantity, types and movements of vessel in and around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS or Sanctuary) is unknown. These activities impact the sanctuary in multiple ways including ship strike to marine mammals, ocean noise, introduction of exotics, and pollutants.

Water Quality (Updated 5/1/2010)
Water quality is a key aspect of a national marine sanctuary. The Stellwagen Bank National Marine sanctuary (SBNMS or Sanctuary) is an "urban" sanctuary in that it is adjacent to large population centers and used extensively by a variety of human activities, many of which have the potential to release pollutants into the environment.

Cover Sheet

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