States and Territorial Marine Protected Area Programs

rocky coast line with drift logs on shore

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. MPAs are used by states for a variety of purposes ranging from managing fisheries, recreation, tourism, and other uses to protecting ecological functions, preserving shipwrecks, and maintaining traditional or cultural connections to the marine environment. In addition, some local governments have programs that establish and manage MPAs.

State Coastal Zone Management Programs

State Submerged Cultural Resources

MPA Inventory