About this Report
This report provides a summary of resources in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, pressures on those resources, the current condition and trends, and management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment. Specifically, this document includes information on the status and trends of water quality, habitat, living resources and maritime archaeological resources and the human activities that affect them. It presents responses to a set of questions posed to all sanctuaries in the report. Resource status is rated on a scale from good to poor, and the timelines used for comparison vary from topic to topic. Trends in the status of resources are also reported, and are generally based on observed changes in status over the past five years, unless otherwise specified. Evaluations of status and trends were made by sanctuary staff, based on interpretation of quantitative and, when necessary, non-quantitative assessments and observations of scientists, managers and users. In many cases, sanctuary staff consulted outside experts familiar with the resources and with knowledge of previous and current scientific investigations. The ratings reflect the collective interpretation of the status of local issues of concern among sanctuary program staff and outside experts based on their knowledge and perceptions of local problems, but the final ratings were determined by sanctuary staff. Similar reports summarizing resource status and trends will be prepared for each marine sanctuary approximately every five years and updated as new information allows. This information is intended to help set the stage for management plan reviews at each site and to help sanctuary staff identify monitoring, characterization and research priorities to address gaps, day-to-day information needs and new threats. This report has been peer-reviewed and complies with the White House Office of Management and Budget's peer review standards as outlined in the Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.