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MPRSA. Marine Protection, Research & Sanctuaries Act. Five titles make up the MPRSA:. Titles I & II : Ocean Dumping Act Focuses on the research and regulation of materials that are dumped into ocean waters. Title III : National Marine Sanctuary Act

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Marine Protection, Research & Sanctuaries Act

five titles make up the mprsa
Five titles make up the MPRSA:

Titles I & II: Ocean Dumping Act

Focuses on the research and regulation of materials that are dumped into ocean waters.

Title III: National Marine Sanctuary Act

Provides for identification, designation, management, and conservation of specific portions of the marine ecosystem that are designated as National Marine Sanctuaries

Title IV: Marine Research Program

Establishes federally managed regional marine research programs

Title V: National Coastal Monitoring Act

Establishes a national program for consistent monitoring of the Nation’s coastal ecosystem.

ocean dumping act
Ocean Dumping Act
  • Title I – Regulation of Dumping
  • Title II - Research
ocean dumping act4
Ocean Dumping Act
  • Policy & Congressional Declaration of Purpose (§ 1401)

Congress recognizes the dangers of unregulated dumping:

“Unregulated dumping of material into ocean waters endangers human health, welfare, and amenities, and the marine environment, ecological systems, and economic potentialities”

And thus stated that it was the policy of the US to regulate the dumping of all types of materials into ocean waters, and strictly limit or prevent the dumping of hazardous materials.

ocean dumping act purpose
Ocean Dumping Act - Purpose

Prohibits the transportation of materials for the purpose of dumping by (§ 1411):

  • Ships and planes flying the US flag
  • Originating in the US
  • Anyone intending to dump materials into US territorial waters or into a zone neighboring US territorial waters

Unless a permit is obtained or in cases of emergency

ocean dumping act key definitions 1402
Ocean Dumping Act – Key Definitions (§1402):
  • Secretary: Secretary of the Army
  • Administrator: Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Material: Matter of any description

(examples: dredged material, solid waste, incinerator residue, garbage, sewage, sewage sludge, munitions, radiological, chemical, and biological warfare agents, radioactive materials, chemicals, biological and laboratory waste, wreck or discarded equipment, rock, sand, excavation debris, and industrial, municipal, agricultural, and other waste)

  • Dumping: Disposition of material

(NOT including: routine discharge from vessels, construction of any fixed structure or island, or the deposit of materials made for the purpose of “developing, maintaining, or harvesting fisheries resources.”)

  • Dredged Material: Any material excavated or dredged from waterways
  • Ocean Waters: Territorial waters as defined by the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone (expanded by the Convention of the Law of the Sea – see interactions with other laws supra)
ocean dumping act issuance of permits
Ocean Dumping Act – Issuance of Permits
  • EPA has exclusive right to issue permits except for permits relating to dumping of dredged waste
  • The Secretary of the Army and the Corps of Engineers has independent authority to issue permits for dredged materials[However, before issuing a permit the Secretary must notify the EPA which can choose to veto the permit if it is not consistent with the EPA’s environmental criteria] (ADMMARL § 18-5)
ocean dumping act issuance of permits9
Ocean Dumping Act – Issuance of Permits
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) may issue permits for dumping that will not unreasonably degrade or endanger human health, welfare, amenities, or the marine environment, ecological systems, or economic potentialities.
ocean dumping act issuance of permits10
Ocean Dumping Act – Issuance of Permits
  • After notice and opportunity for public hearing
  • NEVER issued for radiological, chemical, and biological warfare agents, high-level radioactive waste, and medical waste
  • Consult Federal, State, and local officials, interested members of the general public [subject to Administrator’s discretion], and the Secretary of the Department of the Army [when regulations affect the Army’s civil works programs]
  • Issued by regional EPA administrators (region of origin, final decision made by Administrator if contested).
      • $1000 for permit to dump at specified site
      • $3000 for permit to dump at unspecified site
      • Government exempt from permit fees
Permit factors:
  • The need for the proposed dumping.
  • The effect of such dumping on human health and welfare, including economic, esthetic, and recreational values.
  • The effect of such dumping on fisheries resources, plankton, fish, shellfish, wildlife, shore lines and beaches.
  • The effect of such dumping on marine ecosystems, particularly with respect to—(i) the transfer, concentration, and dispersion of such material and its byproducts through biological, physical, and chemical processes.(ii) potential changes in marine ecosystem diversity, productivity, and stability, and(iii) species and community population dynamics.
  • The persistence and permanence of the effects of the dumping.
  • The effect of dumping particular volumes and concentrations of such materials.
  • Appropriate locations and methods of disposal or recycling, including land-based alternatives and the probable impact of requiring use of such alternate locations or methods upon considerations affecting the public interest.
  • The effect on alternate uses of oceans, such as scientific study, fishing, and other living resource exploitation, and non-living resource exploitation
  • In designating recommended sites, the Administrator (of the EPA) shall utilize wherever feasible locations beyond the edge of the Continental Shelf.
ocean dumping act permit conditions
Ocean Dumping Act – Permit Conditions
  • Must include –

(1)  type of material

  • amount of material
  • location for dumping
  • conditions, limitations and requirements necessary to remain consistent with site-management plans (if any apply)
  • any special provisions deemed “necessary” for monitoring and surveillance of dumping
  • any other matters deemed “appropriate”
ocean dumping act permit conditions13
Ocean Dumping Act – Permit Conditions
  • Restrictions
  • Valid 7>
  • May be limited or denied, reviewed, revised or revoked (in part or in whole) if monitoring data suggests that materials cannot be dumped consistent with factors considered when applying for permits
    • Notice and opportunity for hearing on proposed action required
  • Must be displayed
    • Copy will be furnished to Secretary and Coast Guard
There are 6 different kinds of permits issued pursuant to the MPRSA. These are enumerated in 40 C.F.R. § 220.3 -
  • General Permits – issued for the dumping of materials that have a “minimal adverse environmental impact” and are being dumped in small quantities. Issued upon application or when the Administrator deems it appropriate.
  • Special Permits – issued for dumping of materials (still must meet the criteria from the Act) and expire no more that 3 years from the date of issuance.
  • Emergency Permits – issued for dumping of materials in a situation which otherwise would pose “an unacceptable risk relating to human health and admits of no other feasible solution.” Emergencies not limited to situations requiring ‘immediate action.’
  • Interim Permits – no longer issued – originally allowed for the phasing out of ocean dumping and compliance with the Act following passage of new standards.
  • Research Permits – Issued for dumping of materials into the ocean as part of a research project when it is determined that “the scientific merit of the proposed project outweighs the potential environmental or other damage that may result from the dumping.” Expire no later than 18 months from date of issuance.
  • Incineration at Sea Permits – issued as research or interim permits until site is designated as an official incineration at sea site.
ocean dumping act dredged materials
Ocean Dumping Act – Dredged Materials

Regulated by Corps of Engineers – statement of purpose:

“The Dredging Operations and Environmental Research (DOER) Program supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operation and Maintenance Navigation Program. Research is designed to balance operational and environmental initiatives and to meet complex economic, engineering, and environmental challenges of dredging and disposal in support of the navigation mission. Research results will provide dredging project managers with technology for cost-effective operation, evaluation of risks associated with management alternatives, and environmental compliance.”

See: Dredging Operations and Environmental Research (“DOER”)

ocean dumping act dredged materials16
Ocean Dumping Act – Dredged Materials

Why do we restrict the dumping of something that was already underwater?


“Unregulated and uncontrolled disposal of dredged material can increase suspended solids in the water column and smother benthic organisms. If the sediments are contaminated, there is a potential for acute or chronic toxicity in marine organisms and a risk to human health.”

ocean dumping act dredged materials fact
Ocean Dumping Act – Dredged Materials – Fact:
  • 60 million cubic yards of dredged material are disposed of in the ocean at designated sites. (30 CLMJEL 1). This constitutes approximately 20% of the disposed dredged material.
Pre-application Consultation: Includes discussion of alternatives and the information required for use in evaluating the proposed dredged material.
  • Evaluation of Dredged Material Proposed for Ocean Disposal: Includes development, approval and implementation of a sampling and analysis plan and an assessment of compliance with the ocean dumping criteria.
  • Permit Application: Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 325.1 (33 CFR 325.1) describes the requirements of the permit application. In addition, the application should include:
  • a. An evaluation of dredged material disposal alternatives including an examination of potential beneficial uses of the proposed dredged material.
  • b. Written documentation of the site dredging history and a general survey of other prior or current dredging activities at or near the site.
  • c. References to existing or prior MPRSA Section 103 permits.
  • Review of Application for Completeness: Additional information is requested if the application is incomplete.
  • Issuance of Public Notice by District: Public Notices must include all of the information required in 33 CFR 325.3(a)
  • EPA Review: EPA has 45 days with an optional additional 45 day extension to review the information and to determine compliance with the ocean dumping criteria. If additional information is needed, EPA has 30 days to request that information.
  • District Engineer Completes Evaluation: The COE addresses comments and holds a public meeting if needed.
  • Public Interest Review: The COE considers all comments and incorporate them into the administrative record of the application.
  • Permit Issued: A decision to issue or deny a permit is discussed in either a Statement of Findings or Record of Decision and the permit is issued.
  • Permit Public Notice: A list of permit decisions is published.


ocean dumping act dredged material site selection
Ocean Dumping Act – Dredged Material – Site Selection


Selection of sites under the MPRSA is based on criteria to “avoid unacceptable, adverse impacts on biota and other amenities.” Existing information regarding fishing, shipping, mineral extraction, spawning, breeding, nursery grounds, and other cultural and historical elements are examined.

Site characteristics considered:
  • Currents and wave climate.
  • Water depth and bathymetry.
  • Potential changes in circulation patterns or erosion patterns related to refraction of waves around the disposal mound.
  • Bottom sediment physical characteristics including sediment grain-size differences.
  • Sediment deposition versus erosion.
  • Salinity and temperature distributions.
  • Normal levels and fluctuations of background turbidity.
  • Chemical and biological characterization of the site and environs (e.g., relative abundance of various habitat types in the vicinity, relative adaptability of the benthos to sediment deposition, presence of submerged aquatic vegetation, and presence of unique, rare or endangered, or isolated populations).
  • Potential for recolonization of the site.
  • Previous disposal operations.
  • Availability of suitable equipment for disposal at the site.
  • Ability to monitor the disposal site adequately for management decisions.
  • Technical capability to implement management options should they appear desirable.
  • Ability to control placement of the material.
  • Volumetric capacity of the site.
  • Other site uses and potential conflicts with other activities (e.g., sport or commercial fisheries, shipping lanes, and military use).
ocean dumping act title ii
Ocean Dumping Act – Title II

Title II concentrates on research concerning ocean dumping as well as the development of technologies and techniques designed to minimize the harm ocean dumping causes to marine ecosystems. (ADMMARL § 18-5)

2 types of research – NOAA and EPA

Types of Research -
  • There are 2 types of research authorized under Title II of the MPRSA: general research under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) and research “related to phasing out ocean disposal activities” under the EPA.
  • The NOAA is “directed to carry out a comprehensive, long-term research program on the effects not only of ocean dumping, but also of pollution, over-fishing, and other human-induced changes on the marine ecosystem.” This includes damage from oil spills.
  • The EPA is tasked with determining alternatives to ocean dumping. This role includes "research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies to minimize or end the dumping of sewage sludge and industrial wastes.”
  • (
ocean dumping act interactions with other laws
Ocean Dumping Act – Interactions with other laws:

Clean Water Act

  • The CWA and MPRSA have overlapping jurisdictions in the realm of ocean dumping. Specifically, the dumping from vessels in the territorial seas is regulated in both acts. The EPA passed a uniform set of standards located at 40 C.F.R. §§ 220-29. The MPRSA preempts the CWA in coastal waters and open oceans while the CWA is controlling in estuaries.
ocean dumping act interactions with other laws25
Ocean Dumping Act – Interactions with other laws:

International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter

(“Dumping Convention” or “London Convention”) – ratified in 1973 (entered into force in 1975)

"take effective measures individually, according to their scientific, technical, and economic capabilities, and collectively, to prevent marine pollution caused by dumping and harmonize their policies in this regard.“ [ADMMARL § 18-5]

ocean dumping act interactions with other laws26
Ocean Dumping Act – Interactions with other laws:

Dumping Convention / London Convention protocols of 1996

Prohibits all dumping except:

(1) dredged material; (2) sewage sludge; (3) fish waste; (4) vessels and man-made structures at sea; (5) inert geological material; (6) organic material of natural origin; and (7) certain unharmful bulky items made of iron, steel or concrete.

[incineration at sea or dumping of radioactive waste also prohibited]

**Although US was instrumental in negotiating 1996 protocols and is a signatory, it has yet to ratify** see:

ocean dumping act interactions with other laws27
Ocean Dumping Act – Interactions with other laws:

Convention of the Law of the Sea


Directs states to control pollution by dumping within its territorial seas, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone and over vessels flying its flag.

ocean dumping act interactions with other laws28
Ocean Dumping Act – Interactions with other laws:

Law of the Sea

Article 200 specifies that signatory states participate and cooperate in “research, exchange information, and participate in regional and international programs for the dissemination of information.”

Article 207 allows states to set their own laws and regulations to control pollution through dumping, considering their own “unique geographical characteristics of their particular coastlines when establishing criteria and standards for pollution under those laws.”

Article 210 specifies that states should issue permits for dumping within their jurisdictional waters. It specifies that states should periodically reassess permitting standards based on regional and global pollution.

(11 BKNJIL 355)

ocean dumping act interactions with other laws29
Ocean Dumping Act – Interactions with other laws:

Law of the Sea


  • Individual states have enforcement powers over their territorial waters, continental shelves, and economic zones
  • Expands jurisdictional area to:

(1)Territorial Sea: extends 12 nautical miles from shore

(2) Exclusive economic zone: up to 200 miles out to sea

(3) Continental shelf: either 200 miles nautical miles or the “outer edge of the continental margin”

(4) Any vessel flying the flag of the nation - Does NOT include “high seas”

**widens scope of state control and empowers national laws to control dumping**

(1) Governed by Articles 228 and 218 of the Law of the Sea.
  • Port states can take action against vessels for dumping done outside of their territorial waters. They can only commence proceedings while the offending vessel is within their territorial waters.
  • (2) Actions against vessels must be suspended if the flag state begins proceedings against the vessel within 6 months unless the coastal state initiating the original action has “sustained major damage” or the flag state has been “lax in enforcing its international obligation to redress dumping violations.”
  • (3) States are required to settled disputes peacefully. Only monetary penalties are available unless a “willful and serious act of pollution” in the state’s territorial sea takes place. If so, the parties may choose “to have their grievances brought before International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Court of Justice, an arbitral tribunal, or a special arbitral tribunal.”
  • (4) Article 246 of the Law of the Sea specifies these jurisdictional boundaries. Articles 218 & 219 enable states to initiate proceedings to punish violators.
  • (11 BKNJIL 355)
ocean dumping act remedies
Ocean Dumping Act - Remedies


In addition to civil penalties, offenders who “knowingly violates any provision” of the Act or permit conditions shall be:

fined under Title 18

imprisoned for >5


forfeiture of any property:

obtained from the violation


used to commit the violation

ocean dumping act remedies32
Ocean Dumping Act - Remedies

Civil - Monetary

Fines assessed by Administrator:

  • Up to $50,000 for each violation
  • Up to $125,000 for each for medical waste

**written notice and opportunity for hearing**

[separate days and separate vessels count as separate violations. Example: 5 ships dumping waste for 3 days = 15 separate violations]

ocean dumping act remedies33
Ocean Dumping Act - Remedies

Civil – Injunctions

The Attorney General can bring actions to stop imminent or continuing violations under the Act. US District Courts have jurisdiction to grant this relief.

ocean dumping act remedies34
Ocean Dumping Act - Remedies

Civil – Suspension and Revocation of Permits

The Administrator and Secretary have the right to suspend or revoke any issued permit for a violation of the Act

ocean dumping act remedies35
Ocean Dumping Act – Remedies

Citizen Suits

A private citizen has a right to bring a civil suit under the MPRSA for injunctive relief against any person, including the United States (11th Amend. bar still applicable). The US District Court in the district where the violation occurred has jurisdiction to hear citizen suits without regard to “amount in controversy” or “citizenship of the parties” requirements.

**injunctive relief does not foreclose right of individuals to seek alternate relief under other statutes or common law for violations**

ocean dumping act remedies37
Ocean Dumping Act - Remedies

Citizen Suits

Suits cannot be brought:

  • Within 60 days of informing the Administrator or Secretary about the violation
  • If the Attorney General is already pursuing legal action, either criminal or civil, against the violator (including permit revocation/suspension)
§ 1415 (g) Civil suits by private persons 
  • Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection any person may commence a civil suit on his own behalf to enjoin any person, including the United States and any other governmental instrumentality or agency (to the extent permitted by the eleventh amendment to the Constitution), who is alleged to be in violation of any prohibition, limitation, criterion, or permit established or issued by or under this subchapter. The district courts shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties, to enforce such prohibition, limitation, criterion, or permit, as the case may be.
  • No action may be commenced—(A) prior to sixty days after notice of the violation has been given to the Administrator or to the Secretary, and to any alleged violator of the prohibition, limitation, criterion, or permit; or(B) if the Attorney General has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action in a court of the United States to require compliance with the prohibition, limitation, criterion, or permit; or(C) if the Administrator has commenced action to impose a penalty pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or if the Administrator, or the Secretary, has initiated permit revocation or suspension proceedings under subsection (f) of this section; or(D) if the United States has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a criminal action in a court of the United States or a State to redress a violation of this subchapter.
  • (A) Any suit under this subsection may be brought in the judicial district in which the violation occurs. (B) In any such suit under this subsection in which the United States is not a party, the Attorney General, at the request of the Administrator or Secretary, may intervene on behalf of the United States as a matter of right.
  • The court, in issuing any final order in any suit brought pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection may award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to any party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate.
  • The injunctive relief provided by this subsection shall not restrict any right which any person (or class of persons) may have under any statute or common law to seek enforcement of any standard or limitation or to seek any other relief (including relief against the Administrator, the Secretary, or a State agency).
national marine sanctuaries act title iii
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Title III
  • Was enacted in 1972 to protect marine sanctuaries that, “possess conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, research, educational, or esthetic qualities which give them special significance.”
  • Allows for the creation of national marine sanctuaries by the Secretary of Commerce and denotes prohibited activities and corresponding civil and criminal penalties
national marine sanctuaries act purpose
National Marine Sanctuaries Act- Purpose

Policy and Congressional Declaration of Purpose (§ )

  • Congress recognized the importance of protecting special areas of the public domain
  • “[C]ertain areas of the marine environment possess conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, educational, cultural, archeological, or esthetic qualifies which give them special national, and in some cases international, significance;
  • Congress’ goal was to establish a federal program which establishes areas of the national marine environment that have the special qualities listed above
national marine sanctuaries act goals
National Marine Sanctuaries Act- Goals
  • To create a “National Marine Sanctuary System,” comprised of areas of the marine environment that are of special national significance
  • To provide authority for comprehensive and coordinated conservation and management of these marine areas
  • To support, promote, and coordinate scientific research
  • To develop and implement coordinated plans for the protection and management of these areas
national marine sanctuaries act significance
National Marine Sanctuaries Act- Significance

Why is it important to have sanctuaries?

“The primary objective of a sanctuary is to protect its natural and cultural features while allowing people to use and enjoy the ocean in a sustainable way. Sanctuary waters provide a secure habitat for species close to extinction and protect historically significant shipwrecks and artifacts. Sanctuaries serve as natural classrooms and laboratories for schoolchildren and researchers alike to promote understanding and stewardship of our oceans. They often are cherished recreational spots for sport fishing and diving and support commercial industries such as tourism, fishing and kelp harvesting.”

- Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

national marine sanctuaries act definitions
National Marine Sanctuaries Act- Definitions
  • Marine Environment: areas of the coastal and ocean waters, the Great Lakes and their connecting waters, and submerged lands over which the United States exercises jurisdiction including the exclusive economic zone, consistent with international law
  • Secretary: Secretary of Commerce
  • Sanctuary Resource: any living or nonliving resource of a national marine sanctuary that contributes to the conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, educational, cultural, archeological, scientific, or aesthetic value of the sanctuary
national marine sanctuaries act creation of sanctuaries
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Creation of Sanctuaries

The Act gives the Secretary of Commerce the power to designate an area as a national marine sanctuary if…

  • The area is of special national significance
  • Existing state and federal authorities or law are not adequate or need to be supplemented “to ensure coordinated and comprehensive conservation and management of the area, including resource protection, scientific research, and public education.”
  • Congress can also designate sanctuaries
  • The President can designate Marine National Monuments as part of the National Sanctuary System (under authority from the Antiquities Act to establish Marine National Monuments)

National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Public Involvement

Once the Secretary determines that an area should be designated as a national marine sanctuary, the Act sets forth a procedure for creating the designation.

One important provision provides for proposed regulations to be published in the Federal Register (official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations). The public is invited to send comments and suggestions relating to these proposed regulations. Once the comments are taken into account by the Secretary, a final rule will be published in the Federal Register.


National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Map of National Sanctuary System


Fernando De Noronha

Monterey Bay

Thunder Bay

Fagatele Bay

Gray’s Reef

Florida Keys

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale

Olympic Coast

national marine sanctuaries act advisory councils
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Advisory Councils

The Act gives the Secretary the power to establish advisory councils to “advise and make recommendations . . . regarding the designation and management of national marine sanctuaries.”


National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Administration

The Secretary has put the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in charge of the administration of national marine sanctuaries. The NOAA created the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries which manages the fourteen national marine sanctuaries.

national marine sanctuaries act creation of sanctuaries50
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Creation of Sanctuaries

The Secretary is also given the power to create any necessary regulations to apply to each sanctuary.

national marine sanctuaries act common regulations
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Common Regulations
  • Discharging material or other matter into the sanctuary
  • Disturbance of, construction on, or alternation of the seabed
  • Disturbance of cultural resources
  • Exploring for, developing, or producing oil, gas, or minerals
  • Disturbance of marine life
national marine sanctuaries act interaction with international law
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Interaction with International Law

The Act shall be carried out in accordance with “generally recognized principals of international law and in accordance with treaties, conventions, and other agreements to which the United States is a party.”

  • Can only be enforced with regard to US citizens, nationals, and resident aliens

National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Interaction with Other Law

  • The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act: designated the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary subsuming the Key Large and Looe Key national marine sanctuaries that were designated under the NMSA in 1977 and 1981, respectively.
  • The Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act: designated the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
  • The Oceans Act of 1992: designated the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts.
  • The National Marine Sanctuaries Preservation Act of 1996: added Stetson Bank to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
  • The National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000: gave the President authority to establish a Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, which he did via Executive Order 13178 on December 4, 2000.
  • The Antiquities Act: gives the President authority to protect natural and cultural objects through designation of a national monument.  Although this authority has been largely used to protect terrestrial resources, the President used it to designate the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (Presidential Proclamation 8031) on June 15, 2006. 
national marine sanctuaries act fishing regulations
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Fishing Regulations

“The Secretary shall provide the appropriate Regional Fishery Management Council with the opportunity to prepare draft regulations for fishing within the Exclusive Economic Zone as the Council may deem necessary to implement the proposed designation.”

However, the Act specifically states that a permit will not be required for any fishing activity within a Sanctuary.

national marine sanctuaries act prohibited activities
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Prohibited Activities

The Act makes it unlawful for anyone to:

  • Destroy, cause the loss of, injure, possess, sell, offer for sale, purchase, import, export, deliver, carry , transport, or ship any sanctuary resource (civil)
  • Interfere with the enforcement of Title III by: (criminal)
    • Refusing to permit an any officer authorized to enforce [title III] to board a vessel to search or inspect
    • “Resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating, harassing, bribing, interfering with, or forcibly assaulting” anyone authorized by the Secretary; or
    • “Knowingly and willfully submitting false information to the Secretary or any authorized officer” relating to a Title III search
national marine sanctuaries act enforcement
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Enforcement
  • The Secretary is given the power to enforce the Act
  • Additionally, anyone the Secretary designates as an “authorized officer” to aid with enforcement of the Act
national marine sanctuaries act remedies
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Remedies

Criminal Remedies:

  • Fine and/or imprisonment for not more than six months
  • If a dangerous weapon is used or bodily injury occurs or is imminent:
    • Fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 10 years
national marine sanctuaries act remedies58
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Remedies

Civil Remedies:

  • Fine of no more than $10,000/violation
    • “Each day a continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation”
    • Cannot be fined until the charged person has been given notice and an opportunity for a hearing
    • If fail to pay, Secretary can ask AG to recover
    • Charged person can obtain review in District Court
national marine sanctuary act remedies
National Marine Sanctuary Act: Remedies

Injunctive Relief:

  • If there is an “imminent risk of destruction or loss of or injury to a sanctuary resource” or if a resource has been actually destroyed gives rise to liability…
  • Then the Secretary can request the AG to obtain the necessary injunctive relief
national marine sanctuaries act research monitoring education
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Research, Monitoring, & Education

“The Secretary shall conduct, support, or coordinate research, monitoring, evaluation, and education programs consistent with the purposes and policies of this title.”

national marine sanctuaries act special use permits
National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Special Use Permits
  • The Act gives the secretary the power to issue Special Use Permits for activities in a sanctuary if the designation is necessary:
    • “To establish conditions of access to and use of any sanctuary resource; or
    • To promote public use and understanding of a sanctuary resource.”
marine research programs title iv
Marine Research Programs: Title IV
  • Title IV establishes federally managed regional marine research programs.
  • Mandates the establishment of regional marine research boards for: the Gulf of Maine region, the greater NY bight region, the mid-Atlantic region, the South Atlantic region, the Gulf of Mexico region, the California region, the California region, the North Pacific region, the Alaska region, insural Pacific region.
marine research programs purpose
Marine Research Programs: Purpose
  • “To establish regional research programs, under effective Federal oversight to:
  • Set priorities for regional marine and coastal research in support of efforts to safeguard the water quality and ecosystem health of each region; and
  • To carry out such research through grants and improved coordination”
marine research programs board composition
Marine Research Programs: Board Composition
  • 11 Members
  • Each member should have a pertinent expertise to the region
  • Four year terms
  • Each board shall cease to exist on October 1st, 1999.
marine research programs functions of board
Marine Research Programs:Functions of Board
  • Each board shall:
    • Develop a regional marine research plan
    • Provide for review and comment on research plans
    • Submit a report to Congress on marine environmental research issues and activities w/in the region
marine research programs regional research plans
Marine Research Programs: Regional Research Plans
  • Contents of Plan:
  • An overview of an environmental quality conditions in the coastal and marine wasters of the region and expected trends in these conditions
  • A comprehensive inventory and description of all marine research related to water quality and ecosystem health expected to be conducted in the region during the 4-year term of the plan
  • A general description of marine research and monitoring objectives and timetables for achievement through the funding of projects under Title IV during the four year period covered by the plan
marine research programs research grant program
Marine Research Programs: Research Grant Program

Annually, each board can submit an application for a grant to the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to fund projects set forth in the plan

title v national coastal monitoring act
Title V: National Coastal Monitoring Act

Purpose: “To establish a national program for consistent monitoring of the Nation’s coastal ecosystem.”

National Coastal Monitoring Act: Comprehensive Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Program Administration
  • The Administrator, state, and local authorities should jointly develop and implement a program to measure the environmental quality of the Nation’s coastal ecosystems
  • The EPA has primary authority oversee implementation of the programs
national coastal monitoring act coastal water quality monitoring programs guidelines
National Coastal Monitoring Act: Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Programs Guidelines

The Administrator and Under Secretary were given the task of creating guidelines for the coastal water quality monitoring programs.

The guidelines should:

  • “Provide an appropriate degree of uniformity among the coastal water quality monitoring methods and data while preserving the flexibility of monitoring programs to address specific needs.”
  • “Establish scientifically valid monitoring methods.”
national coastal monitoring act intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs
National Coastal Monitoring Act: Intensive Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Programs

All water quality monitoring programs should include an intensive coastal water quality monitoring program. As part of the intensive program, the Administrator and Under Secretary “shall contract with the National Research Council to conduct a study to identify the coastal areas suitable for the establishment of intensive coastal monitoring programs.”

national coastal monitoring act intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs72
National Coastal Monitoring Act: Intensive Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Programs
  • The Administrator and Under Secretary are given the power to jointly designate coastal areas to be intensively monitored.
    • National Research Council should provide recommendations and advice
  • Specific areas:
    • Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays
    • Gulf of Maine
    • Chesapeake Bay
    • Hudson-Raritan Estuary
national coastal monitoring act intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs tasks
National Coastal Monitoring Act: Intensive Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Programs Tasks
  • ID water quality issues and provide information to assist in improving coastal water quality
  • Survey existing monitoring activities and private compliance with regulations and integrate new monitoring activities w/ the old
  • Specify implementation requirements for the program