MPA Government Programs
Government Marine Protected Area (MPA) Programs, Agencies and Legislation
A variety of national and international government programs, agencies, and legislation manage, monitor,
or establish the nation’s marine protected areas (MPAs). You will find some examples of those
agencies and programs on these pages.
Federal MPA Legislation
At the federal level, a number of agencies and entities provide the authority for establishing,
managing, monitoring, and evaluating MPAs. While this list is not all-encompassing, it does
offer a sold definition of the authorities under which the Department of Commerce, Department
of the Interior, and others designate and/or establish MPAs. Click here to access information about MPA legislation.
Federal MPA Programs and Agencies
Many programs within the U.S. federal government have specific mandates to establish and manage protected areas in the oceans and Great Lakes. Both the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior establish, manage, monitor, and evaluate MPAs under various legislative authorities. This section provides examples of federal MPA programs under various agencies, and provides links to relevant program sites. You may also read more about some legislation that authorizes federal agencies to establish, manage, monitor, and/or evaluate MPAs at the federal level.
Learn about federal MPA programs and agencies within the Department of Commerce and Department of the Interior, click here.
State, Commonwealth and Territorial Marine Managed Area Programs
States use a wide variety of site designation authorities to protect and manage natural and cultural coastal and marine resources. Nationwide, there are more than 100 state, territorial, and commonwealth agencies with area-based management authority. Every state and territory has different bureaus, departments, and divisions that regulate the environment, manage lands, and regulate commerce. Read about the marine managed areas in some coastal and marine states, commonwealths, and territories here.
Some International MPA Initiatives
There are numerous examples around the world of the establishment of marine protected area sites, networks, and systems. We have selected just a few where the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center has a responsibility to participate in these cooperative conservation efforts. Click here to read about these examples.
Tribal MPA Initiatives
The MPA Center is in the process of providing information about some tribal initiatives. We will post that information soon.