Christopher McGuire elected Chair of Advisory Council for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts' Ocean Program Director will help implement the Sanctuary's revised management plan

Close up of Chris McGuire on a fishing boat.
Chris McGuire Chris McGuire, Ocean Program Director for TNC in Massachusetts, on a fishing boat equipped with cameras for electronic monitoring of catch © Ayla Fox

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At a crucial time for the conservation of the ocean and coastlines, Christopher McGuire, Ocean Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts, will lead the Advisory Council for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a part of the ocean east of Boston, Massachusetts between Cape Ann and Cape Cod. This federally protected area of 842-square-miles is a hotspot of ocean biodiversity, one of the top whale watching destinations in the US and an important recreational and commercial fishing area.

The Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) is a community-based body that advises the sanctuary superintendent on the effective implementation of the sanctuary management plan. The Council’s make up includes commercial and recreational fishing, research and conservation, whale watching and shipping, diving and marine heritage, community and youth members, and education and business. The Council is the formal organizational link to the sanctuary's user community and others interested in the management of this nationally significant area of the ocean environment.

“The Council is a place where widely varied ocean interests come together to discuss management of a place that is important to all of us,” said McGuire, who was elected by unanimous decision. “I am honored to be taking on the role of Chair to help the Council and Sanctuary staff protect and enhance this thriving ecosystem for wildlife and people to enjoy for generations to come.”

In his role with The Nature Conservancy, McGuire helps shape marine priorities at the state level while harnessing TNC’s global experience and scientific expertise to develop innovative conservation solutions to pressing ocean challenges. He is focused on preserving Massachusetts’ critical ocean and coastal systems by engaging with fishermen on sustainable fishing practices and research; advancing the development of environmentally preferable renewable energy; and using natural solutions to reduce the risks of climate change.

“We’re pleased to have Chris as the Chair of our Sanctuary Advisory Council,” said Pete DeCola, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent. “He succeeds Todd Callaghan, a coastal and marine scientist with the Office of Coastal Zone Management, who did an outstanding job in leading us through the revision of our management plan. Chris faces an equally daunting challenge with implementation of the plan and we’re certain that his knowledge and expertise will guide us through this next phase.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.