National Marine Sanctuaries Act
Congress created the National Marine Sanctuary System when it passed the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) in 1972—originally referred to as Title III of the Marine Protection, Research & Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA - Public Law 92-532, Oct. 23, 1972, 86 Stat. 1061).
The NMSA is currently codified in Title 16 of the United States Code, Chapter 32, Sections 1431 to 1445.
The purpose for the law was to conserve pristine ocean areas for future generations in the same manner that the nation has protected national parks and forests since the 19th century. The NMSA is the foundational document for the management of national marine sanctuaries, and it directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish federal regulations to carry out the purposes of the act.
- National Marine Sanctuaries Act
- Government Printing Office
Access GPO Databases home page for public laws; Congressional Record, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Code, GAO Reports, etc.
- Cornell Law School/Legal Information Institute
Additional source for the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and others