NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on sanctuaries.noaa.gov/coronavirus/.

Management 101

The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) is responsible for identifying, designating, and managing ocean and Great Lake areas of special national significance as national marine sanctuaries. Sanctuaries are managed to protect and conserve their resources and to allow uses that are compatible with resource protection. Management of sanctuaries is composed of a number of components:
  • authorizing legislation
    (National Marine Sanctuaries Act - NMSA);
  • regulations;
  • management plans;
  • management effectiveness programs;
  • conservation policy; and
  • strategic planning .

Management of sanctuaries is composed of a number of components including authorizing legislation, regulations, management plans and permitting. Discover more in Management 101.

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