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Helpful Resources

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.

Databases
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.

Virtual Library
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 conferences 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.

Executive 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 resources.

Fact Sheets: These describe various MPA Center projects and MPA issues.

Newsletters: Links to archived and current issues of MPA Connections (the MPA Center’s main e-newsletter), Marine Cultural and Historic Resources (monthly e-newsletter focused on marine archaeology news), and Information Exchange for Marine Educators (a monthly e-newsletter).

Press 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 the site.

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 those governments.

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 13158.

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.


Archives
Go here to find information from sections created since the public launch of the MPA website in December 2000.


Glossary
The glossary contains perspectives on terms related to United States marine protected areas.


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Revised July 31, 2017 by the MPA Webmaster.
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