About the Gulf of Maine

The Gulf stretches from Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts to Cape Sable in Nova Scotia, encompassing all of the shoreline of New Hampshire and Maine, and much of the shoreline of New Brunswick.

Bathymetry_bighillshade

Credit: gulfofmaine.org

The Gulf of Maine is a unique sea within a sea, one of the world’s most dynamic and productive marine ecosystems. Cold ocean waters nourish curving shores, deep basins and shallow banks that were crafted by glaciers. The Bay of Fundy within the Gulf has the world’s highest tides, spanning 17 meters (55 feet). Powerful tides mix the inflow of North Atlantic waters with fresh surface waters from 60 rivers.

A breathtaking array of marine life and birds—at least 3,300 species—depend on the Gulf. Coastal marshes and estuaries serve as nurseries for young fish, crabs, shrimp, and shellfish. Abundant microbes and plankton form the base of a food web that extends up to seals, sharks and whales.

For 25 years, these five jurisdictions and both US and Canadian federal governments have worked cooperatively toward the sound management of this shared resource through the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.