This section offers an assortment of marine protected area (MPA)
resources to search, read, or download. You can explore our inventory
of more than nearly 1,800 marine protected areas in the U.S. or find an
article or journal in our electronic library. You will also find
links to free e-newsletters, fact sheets, presentations, reports,
websites, frequently asked questions, conference and workshop
proceedings, and more.
The MPA Center offers two databases for your convenience.
Inventory of U.S. Marine Protected Areas
The inventory is a comprehensive geospatial database designed to catalog and classify marine protected areas within U.S. waters. The inventory provides details on data collected from federal, state, commonwealth, and territorial agencies and programs, in cooperation with those agencies and programs. You can download tabular and GIS data, view mapping products and download other data products.
The library contains more than 1,200 records (articles, journals,
reports, etc.) about various issues related to marine protected
areas. You can view these resources by browsing MPA Library theme
bins, or by using keyword, title, author, or other basic search
methods. This section also contains comprehensive records of MPA
and workshop proceedings, links to MPA organizations
and institutions, and relevant websites.
Newsletters and Information
The MPA Center provides a variety of materials to help you learn
more about U.S. MPA efforts.
Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas: The Executive
Order was signed on May 26, 2000, and directs federal, state,
territorial, tribal, and local governments to develop a scientifically
based, comprehensive national system of MPAs representing diverse
U.S. marine ecosystems and the nation’s natural and cultural
Sheets: These describe various MPA Center projects
and MPA issues.
Links to archived and current issues of MPA
Connections (the MPA Center’s main e-newsletter),
Cultural and Historic Resources (monthly e-newsletter focused
on marine archaeology news), and Information
Exchange for Marine Educators (a monthly e-newsletter).
Releases: keep track of the latest MPA Center news.
Lessons Learned: Summarizes strengths and weaknesses from recent
MPA designations in the U.S. and provides recommendations for
ongoing and future MPA planning efforts.
Case Studies: Four case studies examine the history behind
a site's designation, discuss the techniques used to manage
the site's resources, and identify major management issues facing
MPA Legislation: Associated with establishing, managing, monitoring,
and evaluating federal MPAs.
MPA Education and Training
Check out our education pages to learn how to incorporate MPA
themes and messages into your education or visitor program, how
to forge education partnerships between government and private
sector educators, and how to explore marine education resources
around the nation.
You can learn about MPA training opportunities offered by the
NOAA Coastal Services Center. Training is provided in managing
visitor use, negotiating for coastal resources, geospatial technology,
coastal management issues, and process skills.
MPA Government Programs
These pages highlight a variety of MPA programs and legislation
at various levels of government.
Federal: Brief information on specific mandates to establish
and manage protected areas in the oceans and Great Lakes.
State/Territory/Commonwealth: Brief information on some programs,
agencies, and legislation related to coastal and marine states,
commonwealths, and territories, developed in collaboration with
Tribal: The MPA Center is in the process of working with tribal
MPA agencies to offer information on relevant programs and sites.
International: Examples of international MPA programs in which
NOAA or the National Marine Protected Areas Center has a responsibility.
Agency Progress Reports
Executive Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas directs federal
agencies to prepare annual reports describing the actions undertaken
to implement the Executive Order.
National Marine Protected Areas Center: These reports date
from 2001, when the MPA Center was established within the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in association
with the Department of the Interior. These annual reports detail
activities by the National MPA Center, under Executive Order
Federal Agencies: The MPA Executive Order calls for each federal
agency that is required to take actions under the order to prepare
a public report.
Frequently Asked Questions
These pages list questions and answers that are commonly asked
about marine protected areas.
Go here to find information from sections created since the public
launch of the MPA website in December 2000.
The glossary contains perspectives on terms related to United
States marine protected areas.