Support the Protection Plan for Stellwagen Marine Ecosystem

  • by: Ocean River Institute
  • target: Superintendent Craig MacDonald, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Located off the coast of Massachusetts, the Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is home to a marvelous diversity of marine life, including whales, sea turtles, fish, birds and cold water coral. But the Stellwagen is under assault from multiple fronts: habitat damage from trawling and draggers, ship collisions, depletion of fish, pollution and global warming, just to name a few.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has proposed a Stellwagen Bank Management Plan. The proposal lays the foundation for restoring and protecting the sanctuary's ecosystem. It recommends actions that should be taken now, and some that should be considered in the near future, for this special place.

The Sanctuary Superintendent is accepting open comments on the proposal until October 3. The marine life in the area need your help! Add your support for the proposal during the open comment period.
Dear Superintendent MacDonald,

The Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has a marvelous diversity of marine life, including whales, sea turtles, fish, birds and cold water coral. The Stellwagen Bank Management Plan is a needed first step toward protecting and restoring this ecologically important area.

Located across the threshold to Boston Harbor where Massachusetts Bay meets the Gulf of Maine, Stellwagen Bank is under assault from multiple fronts: habitat damage from trawling and draggers, ship collisions and depletion of fish. Pollution comes in many forms to Stellwagen. Nutrient loading from rivers and shores can cause algal and red tide blooms. Most insidious are long-lived metals, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, pesticides, and petrochemicals that bio-accumulate in animals and bio-magnify up the food pyramid. Invasive species displace indigenous animals.

Global warming is weakening all of Stellwagen's marine life by increasing the acidity of sea water. Animals and plants that spend a portion of their lives drifting in the plankton suffer most from acidification, followed by all who depend on them for food.

It is time for a comprehensive Stellwagen Bank Management Plan. I am writing in support of NOAA's efforts to bring this about. We must improve Stellwagen's resource conditions and the quality of lives. The plan must produce open and honest dialogue with all interest groups, informed by sciences, to lay the foundation for restoring and protecting Stellwagen's ecosystem.

[Your comment here]

Let's achieve the vision of a Stellwagen Bank teeming with a great diversity and abundance of marine life, supported by diverse, healthy habitats in clean ocean waters.
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