Located in Massachusetts Bay, the Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary stretches almost 24 miles, north to south. Shaped roughly like a tall rectangle leaning to the left, the sanctuary is about 5 miles wide on its northern side and 14 miles wide on its southern side. This giant, underwater sandbar is the home and feeding ground to a variety of fish, including whales. Many of those fish have made homes out of sunken ships that are an important part of New England's maritime history.
This sea symphony includes the grey gulls above and the humpback whales down below.
The Bay State is home to a variety of hearty critters including sharks, crustaceans, anemones and baleen whales, including humpbacks.The data on this map was used to shift the shipping lanes into and out of Boston in order to reduce the risk of collisions between vessels and whales.
Over time, accidents have occurred and ships have sunk, and passengers and sailors have died as a result. One such disaster occurred when the steamship Portland sank on 27 November 1898. All onboard, approximately 200 people, perished. Shipwrecks leave a virtual time capsule on the seafloor and they are considered important maritime heritage resources.
From the colorful sea sponges and anemones to the fantastical fish, the world that grows in and around the shipwrecks is wonderfully diverse and magical.
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