National MPA Center

National Marine Protected Areas Center

The National Marine Protected Areas Center turns 20 in 2020! Check out our story here and our new video. Want to learn more about MPAs and the work of the MPA Center? See our storymap for more details.

The National Marine Protected Areas Center was established in 2000 to strengthen and connect the nation's marine protected areas, as called for in Executive Order 13158.  The MPA Center is a partnership between NOAA and the Department of the Interior to serve as a resource to all federal, state, territorial and tribal programs responsible for the health of the nation's oceans. It is located within NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The National MPA Center has three goals:

  • Improve MPA design, stewardship and effectiveness
  • Connect MPA programs
  • Advance public understanding and partnerships about MPA programs


The MPA Center is also actively engaged with MPA programs around the world, and serves as the hub for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' international work.

Contact us